Academic Profile

Asli Duru is Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. Her research interests include visual and mobile methods and research-creation methodologies to understand the intersections between gender, exclusion and violence in cities. She has a doctorate in Geography and has held postdoctoral positions in University of Munich, Germany and the Open University, UK.

Current Research

Ordinary violence photography tour, Istanbul

"Visualising memories of violence: gender and wellbeing in Istanbul" (VISMEM)

VISMEM is a European Commission Horizon 2020 MSCA Individual Fellowship held by Dr Asli Duru as principal investigator and Professor Gillian Rose as project coordinator and mentor.

VISMEM project investigates the impact of place-based memories of violence among diverse Istanbul residents for their use of urban space, and interrogates the utility of visual methods for understanding that impact. More precisely, the study uses visual methods to explore everyday settings of violence in Istanbul, focussing in particular on how embodied and social difference plays into remembering (and forgetting) the physical and mental effects of violence through both personal experience and through connected accounts of its effects. The discussion is empirically based on the audio-visual material on memories of violence where memories are understood as physically and emotionally extended phenomena that are embodied and expressed in present interactions in space including body- awareness, movement, design, symptoms and emotions.

The project proposes "ordinary violences" as a framework to map fear and memories as extended human material in order to reconsider the invisible/visible dichotomy pervading the existing terms and methods of knowledge production on violence. The major aim of the project is to draw connections between ordinary sites of violence and present visual research creation as an expressive strategy to examine where violence takes place and how it can be visualised and situated in Istanbul's terrorised everyday settings and routines.

Visual investigations of urban memory within cultural geography fall short in providing explanations for the personal and embodied nature of memory-place interactions. Using smartphone photography, wearable camera, walking, and video interpretation, VISMEM explores the nexus of memory-place-violence along three interrelated formulations;

  1. The material, embodied extension of memories in residents' conception of ordinary violence and related patterns of movement and belonging in the city;
  2. The under-explored potential of visual methods, video in specific, as a means of interrogating memories;
  3. The factors that influence individuals' differential sense of violence.

The project has led to ongoing collaborations with community organisations in Istanbul and Berlin whose field of activities shared the focus on place-memory relations, broadly to create alternative city/place narratives for youth and migrant inclusivity. VISMEM also culminated in academic papers, presentations, public workshops, video screenings, training sessions and community panel discussions on ordinary violence (Duru, forthcoming), embodied memories and videographic research creation (Duru, forthcoming).

Research video
  • (in review) "Sahilde 1 Gezinti | A Walk Down the Shore" (please email to preview video on Vimeo)


  • Sep 12-14, Interactive memory-work session on personal memories to interrogate "violent histories", Karakutu, Izmir, Turkey.
  • Nov 5, Social science snap session, Festival of Social Science, ESRC, Belfast, Northern Ireland (cancelled for medical reasons)


  • Feb 12, Memory design and making workshop, "political memories", Karakutu (in collaboration with IDEA Kadikoy), istanbul, Turkey.
  • "Sahilde 1 Gezinti - A Walk Down the Shore" (19min, Turkish with English subtitles) screening, 12 April 2018, Moving Images - Static Spaces: Architectures, Art, Media, Film, Digital Art and Design Conference, Istanbul, Turkiye.


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Selected Publications

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