C. M. Kosemen

C. M. Kosemen

Artist and Researcher




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Books



 

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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, I used 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 the historian; and more... Illustrated with detailed black-and-white photographs and annotated with footnotes that explain local nuances, this book also contains a touristic itinerary of Judaic sites in the vicinity of 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, “spirits” and spirit visions constitute the main themes explored in these sketches. Simple explanations are provided throughout.

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Title: 
A Karakaş Speaks:
Interviews with a Member of Turkey’s Crypto-Judaic “Dönme” Sect
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 Dönmes 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.

This work, based on a series of interviews with a member of the Karakaş group – one of the three main Dönme sects - aims to fill that gap. Complete with introducing chapters on the history of the Dönmes, and in particular the Karakaş group; 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 are also reproduced in this volume.

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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. This book contains a collection of more than three thousand such hand-painted apartment-name signs from various historical districts of Istanbul; a landmark illustrated volume on this city’s history and architecture. 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 shared alongside the extensive collection of hand-painted signs. Published in two volumes, this work will be a source of reference for architects, designers, artists, photographers, historians, students of urban studies 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 (Main 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. This book catalogues the small, neglected cemetery that preserves the only remaining physical traces of this community. Produced in collaboration with researcher Siren Bora, this book contains detailed images of all surviving tombstones in the Bodrum Jewish Cemetery, translations of every legible epitaph; alongside useful background information on the history of Bodrum’s Jews, the details of epitaph texts and more.

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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”. This is was 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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This book was a comprehensive survey of tombstone portraits from Turkey’s enigmatic “Dönme” community.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, crypto-Jewish sects known collectively as Dönmes emigrated from their homeland in Salonica to Istanbul and other parts of Anatolia. While appearing to be Muslim, the Dönme privately held a set of syncretic 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 cemetaries 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 in these cemeteries. This book is the first ever 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 was based on the compilation of 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 dwelled further into the world of rational speculation. The book featured with in-depth explanation 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 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 addressed the way we picture dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Instead of picturing them as bare-skinned, ultraviolent monsters, the book aimed to depict dinosaurs as living, breathing, “regular” organisms related to present-day birds. The book also featured 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 won critical acclaim from many publications and websites, and won a Global Ebook Prize in the Science category. It has sold over 8,000 in digital and print copies.

 

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

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