On February 6, Turkey was struck by two devastating earthquakes that claimed tens of thousands of lives and left over two million people displaced. In the aftermath of this tragedy, civil society organizations, artists, volunteers and activists have played a critical role in the coordination of relief efforts and the mobilization of resources to support those affected.

To shed light on the human impact of the disaster and explore the experiences of those who have been on the ground, Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul organized “Rising from the Rubble: Stories of Hope and Resilience from Turkey's Earthquake Zone,” bringing together a diverse group of speakers. This included Murat Germen, an artist, academic and archivist; Ayten Zara, founder of World Human Relief and a peace and human rights worker; Açelya Uçan from Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation; and Mert Uğur Aksoy, NGO consultant and resource development specialist at Lokman Hekim Health Foundation.

Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul is also sharing articles featuring each of the speakers from the event. These articles delve deeper into their personal experiences and offer a closer look at their work on the ground. First volume of the series can be reached here.