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Tornistan (Gezi Park Animated Film)

[Still image from [Still image from "Tornistan"]

Tornistan. Written and directed by Ayçe Kartal. Turkey, 2013.

Ayçe Kartal’s animated short film Tornistan has been gaining critical acclaim since its release this fall, thanks to its unique aesthetic interpretation of the Turkish media’s coverage of the Gezi Park protests of June 2013. The film, whose name translates as “Return” or “Backwards Run,” was drawn entirely by hand by Kartal, who has dedicated Tornistan to “those who were subjected to disproportionate force, those who were injured, and those who lost their lives in the Gezi Park events.”

In an introduction to the film, Kartal wrote: “This film was designed after the Gezi Park events, was made as a hand-drawn original (no video-copying technology was used) and in order to be presented to national and international film festivals, was completed with some urgency within eighteen days.”

The film has been honored with three major awards: Best Animation Prize (International) at the Mediterranean Nations Animations category at the Adana Golden Cocoon Film Festival; Jury’s Special Prize for Short Films at the Fiftieth International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival; and Best Animation at the International Istanbul Short Film Festival.

More information about the film and the director can be found here. The complete film can be viewed below.


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Vox Populi features popular artistic and aesthetic expressions that emanate from the Middle East. It seeks to highlight silenced, underrepresented, and/or subversive cultural forms and conduits while challenging hegemonic and mainstream cultural production and narratives about the region. This is accomplished by exploring the actual conditions of reception and consumption of cultural products among popular cultures in the Middle East as they relate to questions of inequality, power, and difference. In addition to showcasing the independent work of ordinary citizens and groups, the page aims to capture new and changing forms, spaces, and avenues of political and social transformations. Through interviews, analysis, individual and institutional profiles, video snippets, films, music videos, and visual and street art, Vox Populi communicates and showcases important trends about/from the region that are often left out in what is otherwise serious analytical treatments.

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