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Expos­er les orig­in­aux du livre graphique de Zehra Doğan, “Prison N°5”,  paru aux Edi­tions Del­court, n’est pas chose facile, et ne peut être réal­isé que dans des espaces dédiés et sécurisés, comme ce fut le cas à la Bien­nale de Berlin, au Cen­tre Maxime Gor­ki, tou­jours à Berlin, ou bien­tôt à Milan en Italie.

Exhibit­ing the orig­i­nal of Zehra Doğan’s graph­ic book, “Prison N° 5” pub­lished by Edi­tions Del­court, is not a sim­ple mat­ter and can only be done in ded­i­cat­ed and secure spaces, as was the case at the Berlin Bien­ni­al , inside Berlin’s Maxime Gor­ki Cen­ter, or as will soon be the case in Milan in Italy.


With Edi­tions Del­court’s gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion, asso­ci­a­tions, libraries, media cen­ters, book­stores and any­one wish­ing to orga­nize an exhi­bi­tion will have access to 20 qual­i­ty repro­duc­tions in a free “exhi­bi­tion kit”, requir­ing the deposit of a reim­bursable guar­an­tee. The only cost will be for ship­ping and return­ing the mate­ri­als (a total of 66 €).

A bit of background on the making of this graphic book

Along with its artis­tic qual­i­ties, the graph­ic pub­li­ca­tion describes the Kur­dish ques­tion, among oth­ers, along with a somber his­to­ry of  an already dark peri­od in Turkey, between 1980 and 1995. It also describes dai­ly liv­ing con­di­tions in today’s women pris­ons and the strug­gles they car­ry out against them. Prison N° 5 is the sin­is­ter “Amed Gaol”, the pen­i­ten­tiary in Diyarbakır, where Zehra Doğan was also incar­cer­at­ed, and which served as a cen­ter for tor­ture and ill treat­ment under the mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship. It stands as a piece of Turk­ish his­to­ry that explains much of what is still cur­rent under the Erdoğan regime.

The idea of this graph­ic work came to Zehra while she was in prison, at a time when she had no access to artis­tic sup­plies, since they were all for­bid­den. She then asked Naz Öke to be her accom­plice (Naz is none oth­er than the cre­ator of Kedis­tan and she wrote to Zehra sev­er­al times a week);  Zehra asked her to write on only one side of sheets of wrap­ping paper. More than one hun­dred such sheets were then “escaped” from prison, then re-assem­bled, pro­vid­ing the matrix of the book Edi­tions Del­court pub­lished enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly in a French ver­sion in ear­ly 2021. In a sim­i­lar spir­it, Beco Gial­lo Pub­lish­ing pub­lished an Ital­ian ver­sion in Italy.

Thus,  we offer 20 repro­duc­tions of these “escaped” orig­i­nals  for exhibition.

In this selec­tion, you will find the fol­low­ing pages of the graph­ic book:  5, 11, 28–29, 33, 40, 42, 57 58, 64–54, 72, 76, 78, 79, 87, 90, 99, 103, 108. (See images below.)

On July 21 2016, Zehra Doğan was arrest­ed in Mardin, accused of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­gan­da for hav­ing pub­lished a dig­i­tal draw­ing of the destruc­tions in the town of Nusay­bin, a town under cur­few in which she found her­self in her capac­i­ty as a  jour­nal­ist. This was the begin­ning of a judi­cia­ry jour­ney. On March 2 2017, she was at first acquit­ted of the accu­sa­tion of belong­ing to an ille­gal orga­ni­za­tion; but she was sen­tenced nonethe­less to two years, nine months and 22 days in prison for dis­trib­ut­ing the draw­ing of Nusay­bin After 141 days of pro­vi­sion­al impris­on­ment in Mardin – where she shared a cell block with Kur­dish singer Nûdem Durak — she was set free under pro­ba­tion. Once her sen­tence was con­firmed, she spent a few months in hid­ing in Istan­bul, and was arrest­ed again on June 12 2017 and incar­cer­at­ed in prison n° 5 in Diyarbakır.

On Octo­ber 23 2018, fol­low­ing an imposed dis­tanc­ing mea­sure, Zehra Doğan was sent to the prison in Tar­sus. She was lib­er­at­ed on Feb­ru­ary 24 2019. The graph­ic book also relates this entire period.

All the links pro­vid­ed in this arti­cle will pro­vide you with more infor­ma­tion that will help you in prepar­ing your project. Take the time to read them.

Content of the kit

Qual­i­ty repro­duc­tions 40 x 60 cm, enlarge­ments of the orig­i­nals in 21 x 29,7 cm. The texts are in French, fol­low­ing their trans­la­tion and adap­ta­tion to the pages received from prison. Exhibit-ready.

• 20 repro­duc­tions with hooks for hanging
• 1 copy of the book “Prison N° 5” by Zehra Doğan, Del­court, April 2021 (for on-site consultation)
• 1 copy of the book “Nous aurons aus­si de beaux jours, écrits de prison” (We will also know fine days, prison writ­ings) by Zehra Doğan, Edi­tions des femmes, Octo­ber 2019 (for on-site consultation)
• infor­ma­tion doc­u­ments such as press mate­ri­als around the book Prison N° 5, Zehra Doğan’s biography…
• USB key con­tain­ing a selec­tion of shorts videos (1 to 4 min­utes – you can view the selec­tion here)
• A doc­u­ment on “How to pro­ceed” with the exhibition”.

On loan against a cheque deposit as secu­ri­ty. Your only costs being postal deliv­ery and return for a total of 66€. (In met­ro­pol­i­tan France : Col­is­si­mo against sig­na­ture. Postal tar­iff for 12 kg 26 € + 500 € insur­ance (manda­to­ry) + 7€, total : 33€ (thus 66 € total).

Ani­ma­tion pos­si­ble, upon request. Con­di­tions to be dis­cussed with Kedis­tan.

For the local sale of the graph­ic book, the orga­niz­er of the exhi­bi­tion must con­tact a local bookstore.

prison n°5 zehra dogan exposition

This kit is thus avail­able from Kedis­tan on request.

You are invit­ed to con­tact us direct­ly online, via the web­site’s address or through our page on face­book. Leav­ing a phone num­ber would be use­ful for a speed­i­er response.

These repro­duc­tions are not for sale, any more than the orig­i­nals are.  The graph­ic book is avail­able in all good bookstores.

Addi­tion­al­ly, as a reminder that the draw­ings were done on the reverse side of let­ters, we invite you to read and cir­cu­late the prison cor­re­spon­dence, pub­lished by Edi­tions des Femmes in France in 2020 under the title “Nous aurons aus­si de beaux jours”. In it, you will find all Zehra Doğan’s answers to these let­ters, thus pro­vid­ing a detailed con­text to the graph­ic book, the two works being complementary.

So librar­i­ans, asso­ci­a­tions, media cen­ters, libraries with an exhi­bi­tion space, reach for your key­board !  Get in touch with us! 

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.