Ankara is a zine that is part psychogeography, part autobiography, part urban design history, and multiple other fragments on things like local punk lore, mythological Hungarian buses, and hazy Pavyon nights. It was made for “City as might have been,” the first zine pack in S.Q.A.M. (Subscription Quarterly Annual Mailout), a zine subscription service curated by Other Worlds Zines.
Smooth (Hand)Fish: A Eulogy – Vigil for the Smooth Handfish
“Smooth (Hand)Fish: A Eulogy” is an original poem written and performed by Dorion Sagan for the online congregation, Vigil for the Smooth Handfish, produced by Daz Chandler as part of the Parallel Effect project. The Vigil’s ‘intention was to provide a space for a digital congregation, to contemplate loss, grief, the parameters of care, the interconnectedness of conservation and radical hope, and “collaborative survival”.’ It was live-streamed on 22 November 2020 across three different timelines.
My contribution to the vigil was providing approximately 700 still images for an animation to accompany Dorion Sagan’s poem, which was then edited and produced by Daz Chandler, with additional images by Safdar Ahmed and music and sound design by Edwin Montgomery. It was a fantastic collaboration, which I felt honoured to be a part of.
Other Worlds Online Zine Fair 2020 (Collectively organised)
In 2020, the Other Worlds collective made the decision to hold the annual zine fair online due to the pandemic, and curated an online space where zinesters can exhibit their wares. Zinemakers around Australia sent us photos and videos of their work, and we laid them out in a table format on Wiip. We made the site go live on 31 May 2020, and kept it online for posterity. You can still check the zine fair out.
Strike – The Lifted Brow No. 45
“strike” is a one-page comic that was shortlisted for the 2019 Fair Australia Prize in the “Best NTEU member entry” category. It was published in Issue 45 of The Lifted Brow.
Smoko – The Worst Prime Minister in the World
This was a poster I made as a protest sign during one of the Climate Change rallies in January 2020. It was inspired by a Fantastic Four cover by Jack Kirby.
“Memleket” and “Wounds of Difference” – Read to Me performance (20 June 2019)
I was invited to read a comic as part of a special “Read to Me” night, organised by The Refugee Art Project and the New Moon Collective, and supported by the Inner West Council. As part of the event, I read a new six-page comic, titled “Memleket” (homeland) and also an old short comic, “Wounds of Difference.” While reading “Memleket”, I made use of a Yamaha keytar, bought second hand from an op-shop, to play a bit from a song I referred to in the comic.
Best Worst Baby in the World
Greg, Gex, Catmando, Chowie, Billy and Tinymando were having an ordinary day in their sharehouse in the city of San Fran Sydney… until a sweet (!) baby showed up at their door and started wreaking havoc.
Best Worst Baby in the World is a story written by students in a regional high school in NSW and features original characters designed and created by them. The scatological humour in this one was a lot of fun to visualise on the page.
I was commissioned by Dr Jessie Lymn and Dr Kasey Garrison from the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University to run a comics workshop at this high school and illustrate the story written by the students. This comic was created as part of the “Graphic Novels, Zines and Libraries” research project and was funded by Charles Sturt University and Wagga Wagga Council.
Armida – Multimedia Artwork – c3 Art Space Gallery (2019)
Rodrigo Azaola (Developer), Safdar Ahmed (Performer), Can Yalcinkaya (Performer), Michal Imielski (Producer), Daz Chandler (Photographer), Barnando Hernandez (Producer)
Developed and produced by Rodrigo Azaola, Armida is a multimedia artwork, which reinterprets the 17th Century orientalist Opera, Armida by Jean Baptiste Lully and juxtaposes it with images of the Cronulla race riots that took place in Sydney in 2005 as a critique of rampant Islamophobia in Australia.
As part of the video installation, Hazeen, a Muslim black-death metal band from Sydney (comprised of Safdar Ahmed and Can Yalcinkaya) composed and recorded a death metal interpretation of the the aria “Come, come unrelenting hate” by Jean Baptiste Lully (1686), and footage from a Hazeen performance has been incorporated into the video.
Homoti: The Turkish Gay E.T. Remake
“Homoti: The Turkish Gay E.T. Remake” is a scholarly comic published in the Sequentials journal, about an unofficial, queer, Turkish remake of E.T. (Steven Spielberg, 1982) and provides a critique of the militaristic and heteronormative nationalism in the post-Coup Turkey of the 1980s, the context in which Homoti (Mujdat Gezen, 1987) was produced, through theoretical frameworks of queer phenomenology and monster theory. This 11- page comic brings together several academic and personal interests and fascinations of mine: cultural and political history of Turkey, B movies, remakes, gender theory, political activism, and autobiographical/underground comix tropes, in an attempt to develop a personal style in comics-based research.
Taksim/ταξίμι/تاكسيم is a two-part autoethnographic/autobiographical comics/zine exploring themes of nostalgia and belonging through my own experiences as a first-generation migrant and a collector of vinyl records from Turkey, Greece and the Middle East. The title is a musical term common to Turkish, Greek and Arabic, signifying a form of musical improvisation specific to these regions. As a comic, this was largely improvised and allowed me to experiment a bit format, style and design.
You can read both parts online: Taksim Part 1 + Taksim Part 2
Taksim/ταξίμι/تاكسيم Read to Me Performance at Zine There Done That
On 7 October 2017, I did a live reading of Taksim as part of the Zine There Done That zine fair at Thirroul Railway Institute Hall in NSW, with local cartoonists, writers, photographers and illustrators in an evening of graphic storytelling. The other storytellers included Pat Grant, Meg O’Shea, Louie Joyce, Mary van Reyk, Ali Chalmers Braithwaite, Fionn McCabe and Elin Matilda Andersson.
I also played some records from my collection that were mentioned in my comic to give the audience a taste of the music.