The summer of 2013 saw one of the greatest mass uprisings in the history of Turkey. What started out as a small scale environmentalist demonstration became a defiant outcry in the face of an increasingly authoritarian, conservative, neoliberal government.
The resistance became associated with creativity and humour of the protesters from early on, as they tackled the violent oppression of the state with a cheerful attitude of subversion. #diren (#resist) became a hashtag mantra in social media and on the streets.
#ResistComics has been inspired by the intelligence of the protesters and the sense of solidarity and collaboration in the air. We wanted to capture the spirit of the resistance in our words and pictures. We wanted to make a political statement without being didactic. We wanted to tell good stories about the resistance in different genres.
#ResistComics anthology contains 96 pages of comics, illustrations, a short story and an article on comics and politics. We would like to entertain, inform and inspire our readers through this anthology.
So, what exactly happened in Turkey?
What is now known as the “Gezi Resistance” started with a few protestors trying to stop Gezi Park from being destroyed. The Prime Minister wanted to build a shopping mall in the middle of the park that would be modeled after Ottoman military barracks. When protests erupted in June 2013 all over Turkey, the officials suggested the protesters were a bunch of “looters” and they were making noise over “a few trees”. The truth was that people from various backgrounds and all walks of life were reacting against the oppression of this single party rule with one man in power for more than a decade.
As in the recent mass movements of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement protestors in Turkey made use of social and participatory media to organise protests and more importantly to spread the news. The mainstream media were mostly quiet about the protests for fear of being shut down by the government. The Prime Minister publicly called Twitter “a menace”, while still using it to label the protests the work of foreign forces who were not happy about “Turkey’s progress” during his rule. There were violent conflicts between the police and the protesters on the streets, and simultaneously a battle of words raged on on the social media among the government officials, their supporters, and protestors.
Who Are We?
We are an international group of writers, artists, academics and critics. We are based in different parts of the world, including Turkey, France, Germany and Australia. In the early days of the resistance, we organised online to collaborate on a comics anthology. We used online tools to workshop scripts and artwork, and to exchange ideas. As we all have day jobs and other responsibilities (some of us became parents in the last year), it took us a while to bring our project to life.
We embrace a punk/DIY approach, and have been involved in every stage of production and we would like to self-publish our anthology through the support of our Kickstarter backers.
We are supporters of indie art and the comics scene and some of us have been involved with independent comics projects before. Some of us are professional comic artists and cartoonists published internationally, while others are first timers. We bring an eclectic range of styles and diverse stories.
Why Support #ResistComics?
You might think, “I have no connection to Turkey, why should I be interested in something that’s happening over there?” or “this book would be too culturally specific for me”.
We see our project as part of a larger global movement, which has universal themes. From the Arab world, to the US, from Turkey to Brazil, there is a growing restlessness. We would like a better future, where our basic rights, well-being, and environment have more priority over corporate interests. We would like to see people of the world unite beyond their national borders and work for equal rights and opportunities for all.
Our comics reflect our worldview. We tell stories that relate to the human condition, and we use genres and tropes that would be familiar to readers all around the world. Our comics aren’t inaccessible, and we will also provide some context for what has been happening in Turkey by providing notes and timelines.
By supporting our project, you will also be supporting comic art in Turkey. There aren’t many opportunities for Turkish comic artists to publish their works. We are happy to introduce the works of some talented artists to an English reading audience.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
PLEASE CHECK: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/macabresque/resistcomics-a-comics-anthology