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_Zeki Müren Hotline

Zeki Müren Hotline is a telephone hotline and an interactive web experience that collects and curates everyday people’s messages to/about Turkey’s beloved queer pop star.

2021 Beyza Boyacıoğlu,Jeff Soyk
EN,TR Visit the project

“I found it curious that my grandma, a conservative Muslim who prayed five times a day, fasted during the whole month of Ramadan, and did not leave home without a headscarf, was a fan of this gender-bending and rumored-to-be gay singer…As a storyteller, I thought, if I could unpack how Müren managed to appeal to almost all subcultures of Turkey’s society, I would be able to make a profound discovery about our country’s polarized society.

-Beyza Boyacioglu, Author, to Docubase


Zeki Müren Hotline started as a phone hotline in 2015, collecting everyday people’s messages to and about Zeki Müren — Turkey’s most beloved and equally controversial pop star. During the few months it was active, the hotline received hundreds of anonymous voice messages that often expressed nostalgia for the deceased icon as well as Turkey’s bygone days. Launched in December 2021, the Zeki Müren Hotline web documentary now presents a selection from those voice messages, alongside archival visuals from Müren’s life & work, and written anecdotes about Turkey’s history between the 1950s and today.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN,TR
Country : Turkey,United States
Year : 2021
Author : Beyza Boyacıoğlu,Jeff Soyk
Producer : Beyza Boyacıoğlu,Debbie & Bill McGinness,Emine & Ahmet Boyacıoğlu,Sam Onat Yılmaz,Sasha Costanza-Chock
Team : Çağlar Kaçar,Defne Kırmızı,Duygu Türemez,Ege Berensel,Hayrettin Günç,Research Action Design
Developers : Can Usta,Sinan Mutlu
Designers : Jeff Soyk
Topics : fandom,LGBTQ,Music,Pop culture,Turkey
Technologies :,Vue.js
Techniques : Crowdsourcing,interactive,Web Doc
Exhibition Venues : !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival,Freiburg Film Forum,IDFA DocLab,Read My World Festival,RIDM - Montreal International Documentary Film Festival,School of Visual Arts Gallery
Awards & Nominations : 2017 IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling Nominee,2022 SPECIAL KUDOS from CSS Design Awards,2022 Webby Award Honoree
distribution : Online,Self-Distrubution
Funders AND Incubators : Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective,Chicken & Egg Pictures,Close Up,Council for the Arts at MIT,Dok Leipzig,IDFA DocLab,LEF,Meetings on the Bridge at Istanbul Film Festival,MIT Open Documentary Lab,POV Digital Lab,Public Service Fellowship at MIT,SALT Research,Zeki Müren Hotline Kickstarter supporters
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