MUTUAL AID REQUEST FOR A QUEER ARTIST

Fundraising campaign by Lara Sarlak
  • €2,800.00
    Donated So Far
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I am joyful to announce that I have been accepted into Human Rights Master's Program at Alexander-Freidrich University in Nuremberg, Germany. I need your donations to cover my visa and educational expenses. My aim is to access education, and in turn, develop a better discourse in my queer activism and peacebuilding efforts. To have a sigh of relief, a sense of safety and newfound freedom. If this does indeed occur, I will be able to carve out my own path.

I am Özgür Kaktüs, an artist and queer activist. I came out of the closet in 2015 and began volunteering for Istanbul Pride Committee to fight for a safer future for queer individuals in Turkey. I’ve spent years on the streets, but eventually turned to art as they were taken from us one by one. Using my drawings, I started producing digital content on queer politics, LGBTQ+, women, children and immigrant rights, and non-violent communication methods. With an Instagram account, @biricik.seksuel, I’ve been further speaking up my mind for my community. I also produced podcast series on non-binary people and childhood. I've set up a Medium* account to share my content in English and connect with a broader audience.

My experience in digital activism, and unfortunately of attacks, threats, and censorship, made me realize how similar mechanisms act in organized hatred and discrimination by those in power. I found genuine inspiration in witnessing the creative and peaceful resistance of queer individuals and women from across the globe. To understand local struggles and unique perspectives, and then, to make use of accumulated knowledge and experience in my own peacebuilding efforts, I realized the need for pursuing knowledge-based activism. Equipped with a new variety of academic tools and data based critical thinking, I would raise my voice even stronger. Accordingly, I found myself a master program on human rights. With its inter-disciplinary and international approach and fellowship, this program perfectly aligns with my future aspirations. I was rejected last year, and provided with feedback that my field experience was what they’re looking for, but that I should work on bolstering my academic skills and background knowledge. Incorporating with this, I took four online courses, and eventually after the interview, secured the spot for the upcoming academic year.

There is another side of the story. My partner has been living in Germany for their master education in Early Childhood Research. Our shared goal is to pool our academic resources to collaborate on enhancing children’s rights.

Now, I’m navigating the visa application process. German authorities require proof of funds for a year’s stay, totaling 934 x 12 = 11208 Euros in the form of a blocked account. An additional 2500 Euros is needed for the first half of the program fee, bringing the total goal to around 14000 Euros. Considering the overall economic situation in Turkey and f*cked up currency rates, it is unfortunately not possible to count on the support of my family, friends or the queer community in İstanbul.

* https://biricikseksuel.medium.com/

More about the account holder:

Hello! I am Lara, a close friend of Kaktüs and a queer settler living on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish,) and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Due to financial system restraints in Turkey (mostly Paypal being blocked, and risk of funds donated towards a queer cause getting blocked by the government) we are using my personal account to collect aid. Your generous donation can help make my friend’s dream of pursuing higher education in Germany a reality. The funds will directly support their travel expenses, visa applications, and initial accommodation costs. With your support, they can overcome financial barriers, border regimes, and embark on their journey towards a fulfilling career, using their education, experiences, and art to provide support and relief to our community.

Through this mutual aid, we can contribute to a world where everyone, irrespective of their background, enjoys acceptance, value, and safety.

Organizer

Donors

  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 16, 2023
€35.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 11, 2023
Amount Hidden
  • Pauline Walker
  • Donated on Sep 11, 2023
€50.00

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Donors & Comments

88 donors
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 16, 2023
€35.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 11, 2023
Amount Hidden
  • Pauline Walker
  • Donated on Sep 11, 2023
€50.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 11, 2023
€20.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 09, 2023
Amount Hidden
  • Gourgeus Sunday
  • Donated on Sep 09, 2023
€10.00
  • William Gurner
  • Donated on Sep 08, 2023
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  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 08, 2023
  • Wish you all the best, thanks for fighting! <3

€100.00
  • Sören Müller
  • Donated on Sep 07, 2023
€10.00
  • Eda
  • Donated on Sep 07, 2023
€40.00
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€2,800.00
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