C. M. Kosemen

C. M. Kosemen

Artist and Researcher




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Books

 

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Title:
 
Forests of the Afterlife: Folk Art and Symbolism in Forest Cemeteries of Turkey's Bodrum-Milas Peninsula
Publisher: Ege Yayınları / Zero Books
Publication Date: December 2021
ISBN: ‎ 978-605-7673-96-1
Role: Author, Editor, Photographer, Designer
Worked with: Ahmet Boratav (Managing Editor)

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Turkey's myriad traditions of funerary folk art are as intriguing as they are under-studied. This book documents hundreds of extraordinary, mostly tree-themed works of folk art from the cemeteries of the Bodrum-Milas peninsula in Southwestern Turkey. Alongside this rich visual archive, this book also features an overview of funerary folk art throughout Turkey; the categories and symbolism of the artefacts surveyed; and a brief collection of tree-related folklore from the surrounding areas.

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Title:
 
Memoirs of an Istanbul Psychiatrist
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: June 2020
ISBN: 978-625-7900-16-4
Role: Author, Editor, Translator, Photographer, Designer
Worked with: Henri Griladze (speaker), Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Memoirs of an Istanbul Psychiatrist presents the autobiography of Dr. Henri Griladze (b. 1938), one of Turkey’s pioneering neuro-psychiatrists.

Beginning with the emigration of his father from Georgia to Turkey in the first years of the 20th century, the book chronicles Dr. Griladze’s pleasant childhood years in the then-polyglot Istanbul suburb of Bağlarbaşı; witnessing the changes in the city over the decades; his education; his career of over forty years in psychiatric hospitals in across Turkey; his pioneering research on sleep and psychometrics; his encounters with ultra-nationalists, nosy journalists and other extraordinary characters; and concludes at Dr. Griladze’s modern-day clinic, where he has worked privately since 1974. Richly illustrated with photographs and annotated with footnotes that explain local nuances, this book will be interesting to scholars of Turkish medical and psychiatric history; the history of Istanbul’s Bağlarbaşı district; and to the enthusiasts of the memoir genre in general.

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Title:
 
Hatıratlarda Türkiye Yahudileri (Turkish Jews in Turkish Memoirs)
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: December 2019
ISBN: 605-7884-732
Role: Editor, Researcher
Worked with: Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Memoirs are a popular book genre in Turkey. Hatıratlarda Türkiye Yahudileri is a compilation of excerpts from memoirs by Turkish citizens that capture portraits, or details from the lives of Turkish Jews. In Turkish, will be translated into English in the future.

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Title: 
Memories and Stories of Bodrum's Jewish Community
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: May 2019
ISBN:  978-605-7884-17-6
Role: Author, Photographer
Worked with: Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Some may know Bodrum as a pleasant vacation spot in Southwestern Turkey. Few, however, would know this town as the home of a small but influential Jewish community that thrived until the mid-20th century. In this book, Memories and Stories of Bodrum's Jewish Community uses historic sources and interviews to flesh out the first comprehensive overview of this little-known Sephardic community. Here you will find compelling stories and poignant memories; of ancient Jewish settlements in the remote corners of the Bodrum peninsula; of pleasant family relations between Turks and Jews; of wartime hardships and near-escapes; of people like Janet Akyüz Mattei, who went on to become one of the world's greatest astrophysicists; of Abraham Galante - one of Turkey's foremost historians; and more...

Illustrated with detailed black-and-white photographs and richly annotated with footnotes that explain local nuances; this book also contains a touristic itinerary of Judaic sites around Bodrum.

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Title: 
Alternate Life: From the Online Sketchbooks of C. M. Kosemen
Art book - self published
Role: Author, Artist, Designer

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This volume contains a multitude of my sketches, published in online “sketchbooks” between March 2013 and March 2019. Alien creatures, fossil animals, parallel evolution, and spirit visions constitute the main themes explored in these sketches. Simple explanations are provided throughout. Alternate Life is a free, self-published gift to my friends and followers.

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Title: 
Decade: Surreal Artworks by C. M. Kosemen
Art book - self published
Role: Artist, Author, Designer

DOWNLOAD AS E-BOOK

This is a complete catalogue of surreal artworks that I painted between 2010 and 2020. Decade is a self-published gift to my friends and followers; and contains reproductions of hundreds of acrylic, pencil, and silkscreen works.

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Title: 
A Karakaş Speaks: Interviews with a Member of Turkey’s Crypto-Judaic “Dönme” Community
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: August 2018
ISBN:  978-605-2380-58-1
Role: Author, Translator, Designer
Worked with: Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Since the late 20th century, academic interest in the crypto-Judaic group known as the Dönme has grown and intensified. Most studies resulting from this interest have concentrated on the Dönmes’ place in a world of intersecting identities; and on the nature of their secret religion. In this process, however, narratives by actual members of this community have been few and far-between.

Based on a series of interviews with a member of the Karakaş group – one of the three main Dönme sects - A Karakaş Speaks aims to fill this gap. Complete with introducing chapters on the history of the Dönmes; richly annotated with footnotes that explain local nuances and provide additional resources; this book also contains previously-unpublished intra-communal religious documents, calendars and partial genealogies of the Karakaş sect.

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Title: 
The Disappearing City: Hand-painted Apartment Signs and Architectural Details from 20th-Century Istanbul
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: May 2018
ISBN: 978-605-2380-39-0
Role: Author, Photographer, Translator, Designer
Worked with: Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Istanbul is rare among world cities for having apartment buildings named after animals, plants, and fruit, even feelings. From the early 1900s to the 1970s, these names were painted on apartment entrances as elegant, idiosyncratic signs. In the present day, these unacknowledged works of art are threatened by rampant urban renewal and gentrification. A landmark volume on Istanbul’s history and architecture, The Disappearing City contains a collection of more than three thousand such hand-painted apartment-name signs from various historical districts of Istanbul. In documenting the work of certain early 20th-century sign-painters such as M. Haytayan, A. Levi and G. Vrioni, this study also documents the stories of Armenian, Jewish and Greek artisans who once lived in Istanbul.

Hundreds of accessory photographs; belonging to historic structures, vernacular architecture and associated urban details are also shared alongside the extensive collection of hand-painted signs. The Disappearing City: Hand-painted Apartment Signs and Architectural Details from 20th-Century Istanbul will be a source of reference for architects, designers, artists, photographers, historians, urban studies specialists, and more; for generations to come…

In two volumes; 615 and 497 pages; 5000+ colour photographs.

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Title:
 
The Bodrum Jewish Cemetery
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: January 2017
ISBN: 978-605-9022-90-3
Role: Author (Introduction Essay) Photographer, Translator, Editor, Designer
Worked with: Siren Bora (Author) Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Today known mainly as a holiday destination, the Aegean town of Bodrum also hosted a small but important Jewish community in its past. The Bodrum Jewish Cemetery catalogues the small, neglected cemetery that preserves the only remaining physical traces of this community with detailed images of all surviving tombstones in the Bodrum Jewish Cemetery; transcriptions and translations of every legible epitaph; alongside useful background information on the history of Bodrum’s Jews.

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Title: 
Tangent Worlds: From the Sketchbooks of C. M. Kosemen
Art book - self published
Publication Date:
 May 2016
Role: Author, Artist, Designer

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A collection of various sketches from my sketchbooks; with hundreds of images and descriptions of demons, alien creatures, palaeoart and products of speculative evolution; arranged as a fictional “dream travelogue”. Tangent Worlds is a self-published gift to my friends and followers; and a complimentary volume to my sketchbook page.

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Title: 
Osman Hasan and the Tombstone Photographs of the Dönmes
Publisher: Libra Books
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-6054326976
Role: Writer, Photographer, Researcher, Designer
Worked with: Rifat N. Bali (Managing Editor)

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Osman Hasan and the Tombstone Photographs of the Dönmes
is a comprehensive survey of tombstone portraits from Turkey’s enigmatic “Dönme” community.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, crypto-Jewish sects known collectively as Dönmes emigrated from their homeland in Salonica to Istanbul. While appearing to be Muslim, the Dönme privately held a syncretic set of beliefs based on Sufi Islam, Jewish Kabbalah and their unique traditions. In their last gasp of group cultural autonomy, the Dönme buried their dead in very unique graves in different cemeteries throughout Istanbul. Most Dönme tombs differed from traditional Muslim practice by featuring the portraits of the deceased.

Osman Hasan was a Dönme artist who created most of the tombstone portraits found in these cemeteries. This book is the first attempt to record, preserve and decipher the legacy of Osman Hasan and the other photograph-bearing tombs of the Dönmes in Istanbul. It also attempts to identify and explain certain symbols and tombstone designs unique to this community. 

Osman Hasan and the Tombstone Photographs of the Dönmes
was acclaimed as a unique contribution to the study of this little-known community. Copies of this book were purchased by the leading university libraries and research institutes of the world. It was the subject of numerous academic talks in the USA, Montenegro and Israel. In January 2016, this work was awarded the Eduard Duckesz prize for Jewish Studies.

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Title: 
Cryptozoologicon: The Biology, Evolution, and Mythology of Hidden Animals
Publisher: Irregular Books
Publication Date: December 2013
ISBN: 978-1291621532
Role: Illustrator, Editor
Worked with: John Conway (Illustrator) Darren Naish (Author)

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The Cryptozoologicon is a celebration of the myths, legends, evolution and biology of cryptids; “hidden animals” such as the bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, the Yeti; as well as more obscure beasts such as the Buru, the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu and the Waitoreke.

Always skeptical, but always willing to indulge in speculative fun, Cryptozoologicon aims to provide a new approach cryptozoology as quasi-biological folklore.

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Title: 
All Your Yesterdays: Extraordinary Visions of Extinct Life by a New Generation of Palaeoartists
Publisher: Irregular Books
Publication Date:
 March 2013
Role: Writer, Editor
Worked with: John Conway (Illustrator) Darren Naish (Introduction)

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A sequel to All Yesterdays, this book is based on the entries we received for the “All Your Yesterdays“ art contest of 2013, where we asked artists around the world to illustrate their own speculative but plausible ideas about dinosaurs and other extinct animals. With superb artwork and exciting ideas from some of the best new talents in the field of palaeontological art, All Your Yesterdays dwells further into the world of rational speculation in palaeontology with in-depth explanations and scientific references about each artwork.

All Your Yesterdays was published as a free book.

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Title: 
Nişanyan House, a Photographic Essay
Publisher: Nişanyan Hotel
Publication Date: January 2013
Role: Designer
Worked with: Asadour Seheldjian (Photography) Sevan Nişanyan (Editor)

A photo book designed as a gift to visitors of the Nişanyan Hotel in Şirince, Turkey.
The hotel is owned and operated by Sevan Nişanyan, a celebrated and controversial writer, intellectual, linguist and traveller of Turkish Armenian origin.

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Title:
All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals.
Publisher: Irregular Books
Publication Date:
December 2012
ISBN: 978-1291177121
Role: Writer, Editor, Illustrator, Designer
Worked with: John Conway (Illustrator, Editor) Darren Naish (Introduction)

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All Yesterdays addresses the way we picture dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Instead of picturing them as emaciated, bare-skinned, ultraviolent monsters; it aims to depict dinosaurs as living, breathing, “regular” organisms related to present-day birds. The book also features a section of fantastic reconstructions, named “All Todays,” where we purposefully illustrated present-day animals with the errors seen in dinosaur art today.

All Yesterdays has become a bestseller, and has won a Global Ebook Prize in the Science category.

 

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Title:
All Tomorrows: The Myriad Species and Mixed Fortunes of Man
Publication Date:
October 2006
Role: Writer, Editor, Illustrator, Designer

DOWNLOAD AS FREE EBOOK

All Tomorrows follows humanity as our species spreads to the stars; encounters a mysterious, hostile race; and is scattered across thousands of worlds as animal-like, post-human beings. In the summer of 2021 All Tomorrows was "rediscovered" thanks to a popular video dramatization on Youtube; and has since enjoyed a surge in popularity.

 

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Contact c.m.kosemen@gmail.com for inquiries.

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