Ayça Yüksel

activist and researcher
Ayça Yüksel is a PhD candidate at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Beyoğlu, and an activist researcher of sociology. Her ongoing research explores various aspects including space; the right to the city, commoning, and solidarity practices; alternative resistance; and the relationship between ecology, multi-species, and care labor. Currently, she examines the tea plant and human relationship in the context of care labor and cooperation practices in the town of Hopa in Turkey.
Yüksel’s research for the BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice emphasizes the perspective that humans are not separate from plants while they cultivate, sustain life, practice agriculture, and resist against the state or market. By focusing on the processes of alignment and disalignment, mutual interaction, and entangled relationships between humans and plants, it highlights their coexistence. While attempting to demonstrate how these relationships take place symbiotically and interdependently, the project also strives to discover alternative connections and forms of relationships.

Yüksel’s publications include: “Traces of the City Touching the Soil: Küçükyalı Gardens,” Beyond Istanbul: Justice in Space and Urban Agriculture 14 (2023); “Haydarpaşa Book: Urban, Space, Struggle,” Kadıköy Municipality Cultural Publications (2021); “Returning Metis for Survival in the Ruins: Subsistence Garden,” in Experiences Organizing Life: Women Discuss Solidarity Economies and Cooperatives, Özlem S. Işıl & Selma Değirmenci, eds. (Hoorn: Nota Bene, 2020); and “Haydarpaşa as the Space of Struggle,” Birikim 368 (December 2019). 

Yüksel lives and works in İstanbul and Artvin, and is part of the BAK Cell, Utrecht, in the Fellowship for Situated Practice.