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EVREN, Süreyyya. "Alternative publishing experiences in Istanbul"
Article published on 27 January 2009
last modification on 25 April 2015

by r-c.
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I would like to base this ‘action note’ on our experiences of publishing anarchist materials in Istanbul in the last decade as an affinity group that mainly works on postanarchism. I will try to focus on two aspects of our experience.

First I would like to explain our position and our approach. Briefly, we have been actively working on a research and publication project in Istanbul from a poststructuralist anarchist perspective or we can say a postanarchist perspective. Of course, what we understand by these terms needs to be discussed in detail, but at the risk of simplifying we can say it has been a kind of updated pananarchism; an anarchism that is understood beyond the limits of politics and one which includes post-eurocentric non-modernistic elements, contemporary theoretical developments and culture in a broad sense which leads to a conception of an anarchism which grabs different fields and everyday life. When we are asked to summarize what we try to do, we simply describe it as a pursuit for heterodoxies in every possible field and an effort to enhance these fields of heterodoxies and challenge orthodoxies everywhere. And we make use of the works of contemporary philosophers like Foucault or Deleuze, so-called poststructuralists, and relating this body of theory to other sorts of political writings of people like Bakhtin or Franz Fanon. We try to develop an open methodology which doesn’t hesitate to employ third world studies, art practices and art theory and political forms of activities. So although we had good relations with postanarchists of the English speaking world (like Todd May, Saul Newman and Lewis Call) we have developed a different path since we first made our postanarchist publications in mid-90s.

Secondly, I would like to give some details and show how we tried to apply different forms of media in different periods of our project. I will try to draw the advantages and disadvantages we found in various forms of publishing. I hope this will be a useful survey of diverse modes of publishing, which gives clues for various possibilities. The methods we have been using for spreading and testing our political position will be evaluated together with their results.

Especially in the last 12 years, working as an affinity group of people who are interested in similar subjects, theoretical and political stances, we have passed through different alternative publication experiences. Here I would like to summarize and categorize these and then maybe compare and discuss possibilities.

We have had three main phases of alternative publishing.

1. The first period: Karasin Anarchist Collective.

Karasin Anarchist Collective was active between 1996 and 1998. It was a totally independent publishing period relying heavily on photocopy (xerox) magazines, newspapers, texts and pamphlets. No legal procedure was involved. As for the distribution of our publications we have used already existing networks of subcultural fanzine distribution; we also built a web site publishing everything we made so far in Karasin Anarchist Collective.

2. The second period: A period of ‘détournement’ -Working inside other publications and media

The second period of our alternative publishing dates to the period between 2000 and 2003. We have worked inside already existing structures such as an established humanist literature magazine, a comics and culture magazine, a radio station and a publication house and continued to develop our postanarchist studies, combining them with different grounds and media.

3- The third period: Independent publishing and launching a separate legal magazine of our own – Siyahi.

That period was initiated in 2003 as an autonomous web site. After that we started to publish our magazine Siyahi devoted to focus on postanarchist thought in November 2004. In total, we have published 7 issues of Siyahi.

arrow On web : Read all the article in Interface: a journal for and about social movements Vol.I No. 1 (21 January 2009)

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