sevilay refika kadıoğlu
Sevilay Refika Kadıoğlu was born in 1972 in İzmit. Although her hometown is Fındıklı, Rize (her father is from Arılı, Pi3xala in Lazuri, and her mother is from Derbent villages), she was raised in Gölcük, İzmit, in a standard urban culture. Since her parents were working, she mostly grew up with her grandparents and acquired the knowledge of her native tongue, Lazuri by listening to them. She traced the story of Lazuri by way of music, and took part in various compilations on traditional Laz music and dance in Turkey and Georgia. In 2011, under the name Eka, she released an album titled Ar Lzi Oxorca (A Laz Woman), which was composed of songs that she learned during this period. She studied tourism and hotel management in Eskişehir and worked as a manager in hotels in Istanbul for 12 years. Under the Gola Culture, Art and Ecology Association, of which she is one of the founding members, she initiated and coordinated the Green Yayla Culture, Art and Environment Festival for ten years. This process helped her to get to know the region closely and to identify its tourism needs. Her research in the region on natural culture, traditional life practices, music, dance, and food helped her to get closer to nature, and make sense of the presence of her native tongue in the world, which she could not define as a child. For years, she has traced and continues to trace the ancient knowledge in Lazuri, the language of a thousand years autochthon people. She established the Goluri Company, by blending her experiences in corporate life and civil society with an entrepreneurial idea. She still designs and runs transforming tours with her fellow partners under this company as an example in the field of social enterprise; continues to work for Gola to create a strong civil society model, and to produce local compilations of the Eastern Black Sea region. She lives in her hometown, her childhood dream, in a town in the Black Sea region, with her son Şina.