Freitag, 14. Juni 2024

PhD life: Way to find closure

The PhD journey is coming to an end and new paths will be explored. What gave me closure is having a plan about what to do next and knowing exactly when this new idea would begin. 

Closure comes with a sense of security and confidence. All hurdles I jumped over were part of my "Routes" in the sense of active uprooting, rerooting, rooting (Clifford, 1997). James Clifford writes "roots always precede routes" (ibid, p. 3) which is certainly true in my case. I could not have done this project without reflecting on where I started off. 

I wrote articles, like ‚Immerse Yourselves!‘ a book review and did several workshops as outputs. I here now also publish my podcast which is an interview with sociologist, art historian and art activist Pelin Tan with sound editing by Georgios Varoutsos:

We talk about how important socially engaged art is for surviving in the metropole, like contemporary Istanbul, we talk about her pathway to "action research" and we talk about getting engaged in changing urban spaces.

Podcast: Against the Tide Episode #1 with Pelin Tan



Article by Pelin on ‘uncommoning’ knowledge>: 


Book recommendation ‘Refugee Heritage’ (2021) by Daar Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti: 


Visible‘, research initiative on socially-engaged art founded by the Cittadellarte – Pistoletto Foundation: 

Publication to download: Judith Wielander, M. L. (2020). ‘Collectively Annotated Bibliography ‘On Artistic Practices in the Expanded Field of Public Art’. Merano, Italy, Art Agency Sweden. URL: 


Publication: Florian Malzacher, Ahmet Öğüt and Pelin Tan (2016). The Silent University: Towards a Transversal Pedagogy. London, Sternberg Press. 


Autonomous student initiative ‘Interflugs’ in Berlin: 


Campus in Camps: 


Arazi Assembly: 


YouTube channel of Kırkayak Kültür: 


Samstag, 3. Februar 2024

My life is an alternating loop

I will not change anything in the text of my dissertation anymore. I have sent the form for the exact word-count and as soon as my supervisors sign, I will send it off.I thought of myself as being in transit first, but I feel more like being in a loop. I re-experience earlier transitions of ending one job and starting a new one or moving from one place to another. 
It seems as if I always need to change place to get closure. 
I always feel a bit burnt out and alone because I could not yet share the happiness with people around me who seem to be excited about my ­– what they consider – accomplishments. 
I feel ­– not afraid, that’s too strong – but restless und uncertain, because my goal is to travel and be able to keep my lifestyle. I think of myself as not being the kind of person who can easily let go of my comfortable living situation (despite all its downsides), my academic work; the idea to find a stable job, a new home in a new city. I wonder where I will get the energy from, but again I remind myself that I am in a loop.
I have done this before, I left people, places, countries, jobs behind and even though I am not in my twenties anymore, I know I can do it. It won’t be harder, but slower and even more relaxed, because what I gained is a sense of calmness and kindness towards myself.
I won’t settle anymore for a flat with no furniture and electricity to live in London.
I won’t choose to live with people who rent out cells in Berlin only for the money.
I will not pick a job with sexist colleagues.
I will not move to a city where I do not have at least one friend or family member.
I won’t share my dreams and ideas about an ideal workplace or place to live. I like to keep things to myself.
If I manage to remain in my loop with slight adaptions, things can’t go wrong. I like to look into the future. I rarely look back. I appreciated my PhD much as long as I did it but, although I still have my oral examination ahead, it already seems to be a thing of the past. I know that I am not the only one thinking that way. It’s this phenomenon of doctoral students who finish their thesis, disillusioned, and seem to somehow delete this chapter temporarily from their memory.
This thesis was more about the process than the final outcome. My life is an alternating loop.