Dr Eda Beyazit İnce

Negotiating precarity in everyday mobilities of women domestic workers at the times of the global pandemic

Funding period: 5 June 2022 – 5 March 2023
Type of funding: International Fellowship

Eda Beyazit Ince is an Associate Professor at the Urban and Regional Planning Department at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and the founding director of IstanbulON Urban Mobility Lab. Eda holds MSc and BSc degrees in Urban and Regional Planning. She received her DPhil (PhD) at the Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University. Eda specialises in transport-related inequalities, especially in the ways in which transport infrastructure investments generate socio-spatial inequalities at different scales with regard to the issues of power, planning, and politics.

Eda’s work mainly concentrates on Istanbul, the most populated city in its region with growing inequalities in every aspect of life. She has been researching extensively the daily mobilities of the least represented groups in Istanbul, including women in precarious jobs, residents living in the peripheries, and the urban poor. Since November 2020, she has been leading a research expedition on transport poverty in Istanbul, supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), and working on a model for an inclusive transport system.

As an expert in transport-related social and spatial inequalities, Eda has also been a part of the Istanbul Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) as a Stakeholder Engagement Specialist. Eda coordinates stakeholder engagement activities and ensures that the project meets the gender and social inclusion goals. Eda is one of the collaborators of the UNESCO Chair in Gender at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and a core group member of the COST Action on the Wider Impacts and Scenario Evaluation of Autonomous and Connected Transport (WISE-ACT).

As a USF International Fellow, Dr Eda Beyazit Ince will spend nine months working with Professor Karen Lucas in the Department of Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) at the University of Manchester.

Profile | beyazite@itu.edu.tr | @edabeyazit

As part of her USF Fellowship, Dr. Eda Beyazit also received a USF Knowledge Mobilisation Award in April 2024 (see below).

USF Knowledge Mobilisation Award: Documentary on precarity, class and daily mobilities of female domestic workers

The documentary on Precarity, class and daily mobilities of female domestic workers is a collaboration between Dr. Beyazit, Erhan Kugu and Volkan Kisa.

According to Dr. Beyazit, research articles, books, and academic events do not always do justice in narrating the complex challenges brought forward by precarious labour for low-income women living in cities. Therefore, policies often fail to address the needs of these groups, which are, in fact, large and increasingly politically engaged to be ignored. Through a 30-minute-long documentary, the team will explore the daily lives of female domestic workers living in the peripheral areas of Metropolitan Istanbul. They will mainly concentrate on the difficulties that individuals encounter during their daily commutes, the negotiations they have to engage in at their homes and workplaces and while on the move, and the tactics they use to navigate through these power dynamics.

There is a recent warning about the skewed power structures of knowledge mobilisation on urban matters, which exclude diverse and multiple voices, building up on expert-driven best practices. In this sense, poorer communities in global South cities are excluded not only from the policy decisions in their own countries but also from the wider policy circles (e.g. international funding programmes) due to a lack of acknowledgement of the issues they are facing. Researchers have been pushing forward agendas to internationalise urban knowledge by building on the knowledge of the global South and to enrich theories originating from the North.

This Documentary on precarity, class and daily mobilities of female domestic workers aims, therefore, to translate knowledge into policy and practice by using documentary as a medium based on the researcher’s USF-funded project on the daily mobilities of female domestic workers. Although female domestic workers face precarious working conditions coupled with intersectional burdens, a highly urban phenomenon, they have been overlooked in urban studies. The documentary will be an important platform enabling discussions on precarity, informality, class, and gendered mobilities from the domestic workers’ perspective. It will also explore how the post-pandemic crisis has affected low-income women workers and their daily mobilities.

The documentary will be filmed in Istanbul, in locations similar to domestic workers’ workplaces and residential areas, and while on the move. The narratives will be combined with images, urban sounds and music to present an artistically creative output.