“An Essay on Gezi” from the editors

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Those were the days in which people formed a collective life in Gezi. Workshops were held, the library was in use, forums were organized in the park. We also handed down a red notebook consisting of 16 pages to Gezi. In the note we wrote, we asked people who were staying, producing, sharing in the park to fill in the pages of this notebook with whatever they wanted, and pass it from hand to hand. We also requested that the person who had the notebook within a specified date, to give us a call. However, two days later, police attacked and evicted everyone from the Gezi Park, and the park was turned into a place closed down to its own public, became something like a machine that was closed and opened. And the notebook was gone just like the garden and the library, with all the things people took pains to create within the park. Our sense and experience of resistance we explored there; our ambition to live equally, freely and fairly still persists.

We would like to support the Gezi resistance, and convey the experience there. On an individual basis, we tried to share the experiences which could be influential in keeping the spirit of our enthusiasm alive as best as we could. Our effort to make the "Red Notebook" also started with our intension to take this enthusiasm a step further, what is more, to transform it into something noticeable. Our aim was to see a reflection of the collective spirit in Gezi and feature its outcome, this fanzine, in the 135th issue of Sanat Dünyamız as co-editors, or in Orta Format. Otherwise, we thought that resharing the photographs that became a symbol somehow, would not add anything new to our understanding; we also thought that photos of clashes or documentary photos taken as an outside observer would be incapable of expressing that collective spirit. That's why we did not include Gezi via those photographs. Yet, why not include the works that were thrived by way of Gezi?

Throughout June, we experienced that there might be myriad ways of resistance; that resistance could be artistic, anonymous and humorous. That is why we took interest in alternative ways of resistance, and reflecting them to art. How will the Gezi effect artistic production? On the other hand, can it bring about any transformation within the existing art institutions? Will the works pertaining to Gezi be exhibited in galleries; if so which ones will be exhibited and how?

There are a lot of questions that come to mind in this respect. It seems the answers would be found in the upcoming process. Surely, the experiences gained in Gezi would influence the artistic production. However, artistic production requires an extended process and Gezi is still a too novel phenomenon for us. It goes without saying that, it is crucial to follow people who are asking questions, presenting different examples in our history of art, and listening to people articulating their criticisms through Gezi. Necmi Sönmez's recent writings in Lebriz, essays in E-Skop under Ali Artun's editorship and Sanatatak are really useful sources in this regard.

As Orta Format, we have been placing importance on the artistic production in Turkey and express our enthusiasm whenever possible. Especially after what we have experienced recently, we think that people feel freer to express their individual ideas. Therefore, we are open to works and essays reflecting on the transformation of art after the Gezi process.