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

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


Gule’s family are from the Elbistan village of Maraş, but due to political persecution they were forced to migrate to Malatya where she was born in March 1972, in Doğanşehir (Malatya). She finished primary school there, but being both 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 working in Kurdish, at the Mesopotamia Culture Center. Despite many difficulties and struggles due to political pressure, Gule continued to work there to promote Kurdish culture until 2008. From there she moved to the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Theater, where she pursued her artistic career, as well as her political engagement. She subsequently participated in many theatre festivals, and started a career as a film actress, assuming, for example, 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 Gule from the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Theatre, for her involvement in Kurdish language theater. Since 2017 she works at Amed City Theater.

AR-Safe Haven Helsinki is curated by Artists at Risk (AR)/Perpetuum Mobile(PM) and co-hosted by PM, Eläintarha villa and HIAP – Helsinki International Artists Programme. It is funded by the City of Helsinki, Department of Culture.






The AR Secretariat is generously funded by Kone Foundation:


Tweet This Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on Diaspora