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Solidarity Call for Video Activist Kazım Kızıl and Other Imprisoned Individuals in Turkey


Kazım Kızıl is one of many activists and journalists who have been imprisoned in Turkey for voicing their opinions in the wake of the attempted military coup and the more recent constitutional referendum held in Turkey in April 2017. A recently launched campaign and petition to free Kızıl now provides an opportunity to offer support and show solidarity with those affected by the political development in Turkey.

Photographer and documentary director Kazım Kızıl was arrested last month while covering protests in Izmir that questioned the legitimacy of the recent constitutional referendum in Turkey. Kızıl faces charges for allegedly insulting the president in his tweets. “I document protests and resistance. The police are on one side and the protesters are on the other side and I am not photographing this from the outside. I am on the side of the protesters. I use photography and video as a tool.”, says Kızıl in a on Facebook. On 17 April 2017, Kızıl was detained by Izmir police while covering and filming a demonstration organized in protest against potentially fraudulent referendum results; four days later he was arrested.

Kızıl's work includes the documentary The Tree of Eternity: The Yırca Resistance (Ölmez Ağaç: Yırca Direnişi), dealing with the peasant's resistance against the expropriation of their land by the state and commercial firms. His most recent film Where are you buddy? (Neredesin Arkadaşım?) is a documentary about child labour and has been shown at the International Workers Film Festival in May.

Kızıl's videos are mostly short and only a few minutes in length, without narration, essentially just the recording of the event, sometimes with music and occasionally featuring short interviews. Common themes in his films are environmental destruction, nature and labour. His sensitivity regarding violence and resistance in Kurdish regions are seen in many videos including Diyarbakır Newroz Celebration and 2016 Cizre after attack. Police brutalism in demonstrations are among the issues covered in many videos (see Vimeo clips here and here).

The international call for solidarity and online petition is organized by MIT Open Documentary Lab. More information about the campaign can also be found here.

How to support the campaign and sign the petition

• Help spreading the word via social media: see

• Tweets using the following tags: #KazımKızılVicdanımızdır #FreeKazım #KaKızılaÖzgürlük

• You can sign this petition for solidarity

• Check this blog where collected signatures from supporting individuals and collectives are shown. In order to support Kazım, you can also send an e-mail to

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