AR-Safe Haven Helsinki Resident Güllü Özalp at the Eläintarha Villa

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We are happy to announce the arrival of AR-Resident Güllü ÖZALP ULUSOY.  She is staying at the Eläintarha Villa from 3 February to 1 May, hosted by the AR-Safe Haven Helsinki


The origins of Güllü’s family are rooted in the Elbistan village of Maraş, but due to political persecution they were forced to migrate to Malatya. Therefore, she was born on March 1972, in Doğanşehir (Malatya). She finished primary school there, but being Alevi and Kurdish her family experienced heavy discrimination and in 1985 was forced to move to Trabzon, in the Black Sea region. Experiencing further discrimination, in 1992 her family migrated to Istanbul.

In 1996 she became involved as an actress in Teatra Jiyana Nû (New Life Theater), a theatre company performing in her Kurdish mother tongue, at the Mesopotamia Culture Center. Despite many difficulties and struggle due to the political pressure, Güllü continued to work there to keep Kurdish culture until 2008. Then she moved to the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Theater, where she pursued her artistic career, as well as her political engagement. She subsequently joined in international theatre festivals, and started a career as a film actress, including a role in the sitcom “Ref” (Sterk Tv).

Most recently, she received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the film “Babamın Kanatları” (Wings of my father) at the Antakya International Altın Defne Film festival. She also did Kurdish language dubbing for children’s cartoon programs on Zarok Tv.

In December 2016 a Turkish government trustee appointed to the Diyarbakir municipal government fired Güllü from the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Theatre, after her involvement in Kurdish language theater. Since 2017 she has worked at Amed City Theater.

Güllü Özalp Ulusoy is an Artists at Risk (AR) Resident, hosted in cooperation with Eläintarha Villa and HIAP – Helsinki International Artists Programme at AR-Eläintarha Villa, Helsinki. The AR-Network is curated by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and is coordinated by the AR-Secretariat, co-funded by Kone Foundation. This residency is funded by the City of Helsinki, Department of Culture.