Dr. Özlem Savas

Einstein-Gastwissenschaftlerin am BIM

Dr. Özlem Savaş is Einstein Guest Researcher at the Berlin Institute on Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research has focused on migration studies and media studies, with a particular attention to everyday life. She received her Dr.Phil degree from the University of Applied Arts Vienna in 2008, with the dissertation titled “Taste Diaspora: The Aesthetic and Material Practice of Belonging.” She worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Design at Bilkent University, Ankara (2008-2018). She held fellowships positions at ZeM - The Brandenburg Center for Media Studies (2018) and the University of Konstanz (2017). Dr. Savaş is currently carrying out an engaged ethnographic research project, titled “Digital Spaces of New Migrants from Turkey: Collectivities, Affinities, and Affective Politics.” Her previous ethnographic research project focused on everyday practices of self and lifestyle on social media.  She has published on diasporic aesthetics and politics of the everyday, visual culture in political Islam, and affective citizenship practices on social media.

Research areas:
Migration and diaspora with a particular focus on everyday practices; Digital media and culture; Collective feelings and affective politics; Ethnography.

Current Research Project:
Digital Spaces of New Migrants from Turkey: Collectivities, Affinities, and Affective Politics

This ethnographic research aims to explore forms of collectivity, solidarity, and affective politics in the context of new migration from Turkey, with a particular focus on digital spaces of intimacy and affinity. Due to recent increase in political repression and turmoil in Turkey, a growing number of people – mostly intellectuals, academics, journalists, artists, and students - are leaving the country and settling around the globe, especially in Germany. This research focuses on affective digital media environments that accompany the recent migration from Turkey to explore how flows and repertoires of collective, public, and political feelings shape and reshape collectivities, affinities and political horizons. Through an engaged ethnographic approach, this research also aims to contribute to translocal experiences of mobility and emplacement in the context of new migration from Turkey.

Completed Research Project:
Modern Practices of Self in Everyday Life
(2015-2018, Project grant by TUBITAK - The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey)

Underpinned by internet-related ethnography, this research examines everyday practices of self and lifestyle on social media. It focuses on self-reflexive imaginations and practices of ‘good life’ on Facebook to explore how a lifestyle repertoire is collectively and collaboratively created by individuals, as well as experts and industries, and utilized in the everyday to constitute, evaluate and transform both individual and collective ways of being and living. This research further explores how social media practices intertwine the individual, private and emotional domains of the everyday with the collective, public, and political spheres.


  • Savaş, Özlem (2017) “Facebook Communities about Nostalgic Photos of Turkey: Creative Practices of Remembering and Representing the Past,” Digital Creativity, 28 (1): 48-57.
  • Savaş, Özlem (2014) “Taste Diaspora: The Aesthetic and Material Practice of Belonging,” Journal of Material Culture, 19 (2): 185-208.
  • Savaş, Özlem (2013) “The Muslim “Crying Boy” in Turkey: Aestheticization and Politicization of Suffering in Islamic Imagination,” in Rhetoric of the Image: Visual Culture in the Modern Middle East (Eds: C. Gruber and S. Haugbolle), Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 103-126.
  • Savaş, Özlem (2010) “The Collective Turkish Home in Vienna: Aesthetic Narratives of Migration and Belonging,” Home Cultures, 7 (3): 313-340.