ISCI Inaugural Workshop June 26-29 2010

In June 2010 a small group of schollars from King’s College, London, the University of Hull, the University of Ulster and the London School of Economics met in the Bektas Sivrice Lightouse to discuss the future ambitions of the newly established International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) (http://statecrime.org). They were joined by internationally acclaimed, New York based photo-journalist Yusuf Sayman and former Istanbul Bar President, justice commentator (and Lighthouse keeper) Yucel Sayman.

The International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) is a unique web-based forum and archive for state crime scholars and activists resisting state crime. ISCI is a community of scholars working to further our understanding of state crime, that is, state organisational deviance resulting in human rights violations. State crime also includes crimes committed, instigated, or condoned by state agencies or by non-state entities that control substantial territory.
The concept of state crime includes but extends beyond legal categories of human rights abuse and international crime.  Our focus is on victims as key actors in defining, exposing and challenging state violence and corruption. ISCI is an interdisciplinary forum for research, reportage and debate. Through both empirical and theoretical enquiry we aim to connect rigorous research with emancipatory activism.

Sivrice Feneri: Host to international scholarship

ISCI is an international and multidisciplinary initiative, based at King’s College and partnered with Hull and Harvard University. It launched in early June 2010 in London with a captivating inaugural lecture by veteran Middle East journalist and writer, Robert Fisk and a haunting exhibition of Yusuf Sayman’s multi-media and photographic work on Kurdistan. The meeting in Bektas was to consolidate and build upon the early success of our initiative, its website and launch. What better place to discuss a state crime forum than in the ancient place Aristotle made his home, a short journey from the site of Troy and in the modern nation where conflict between state and citizen has been a defining quality?

The lighthouse, metaphor for so much related to our field of study, illuminated not only the night sky but our daytime endeavours and we were all the more productive as a result of our exquisite surroundings.

In this enchanting place we spent four days in creative industry discussing, arguing, planning and building the future of ISCI. And (some of us) in discovering raki. We have our road map. But our Bektas lighthouse workshop was to provide us all with experiences and friendships beyond our academic mission that will stay with us forever.

To our hosts Hacer and Yucel Sayman, who embody all the Aristotelian qualities of virtue and dignity, we extend our warmest affection and gratitude. ISCI could not have asked for more gracious, generous and inspiring companions.

Penny Green and Tony Ward
Directors, International State crime Initiative
http://statecrime.org