1988 / Born in Adana-Turkey
2006 / Graduated from Şişli Terakki High School in İstanbul
2009 / International Law education at London School of Economics
2010 / 6-Week Filmmaking Workshop at New York Film Academy
2011 / Marketing internship at British American Tobacco
2012 / Directed the play “Ölüm Hastalığı (Death Sickness)”, staged in “Mekan Artı” theatre
2013 / Received attorney’s license and joined İstanbul Bar Association
2014 / Worked as a production assistant in Los Angeles at “I Mean It” agency which won Turkey’s promotion competition
2015 / Completed five different certificate programs at UCLA:
- Business and Management of Entertainment
- Entertainment Studies
- Story Development
2015 / Displayed his polaroid shots at “The Model” exhibition at “Space Debris”
2015 / Launched the Instagram account “cansizmankenler” were he collected the images of Turkey’s bizarre mannequins
2017 / Attended “Notos” creative writing workshop
2017 / Wrote and directed “Kapı (The Door)” that shortlisted at Filminute among 25 other films from all over the world
2018 / Received his master’s degree on Economics Law, specializing in Intellectual Property Laws
2018 / His first novel “Otobanda Kaybolanlar (Lost on the Highway)” was published at Sola Unitas Publishing House
2019 / “Otobanda Kaybolanlar (Lost on the Highway)” was translated into English and offered for sale through Amazon
2019 / Arranged the group exhibition of “Lost on the Highway” with 21 other artist at Istanbul Soho House
2019 / Attended Murat Gürsoy’s creative writing workshop at Boğaziçi University
2020 / His second novel "Kara Köpek" was published at Sola Unitas Publishing House.
2020 / Published his first photo book "Mannequins"
2021 / Received his master degree in Fim and TV
Once I came back to Turkey after living in the USA for some time, I started to perceive the mannequins I frequently encountered in a different perspective. While the mannequins are normally designed to showcase the merchandise that is put on them in order to entice the customers to buy it, I noticed that either it wasn’t important to evoke that desire in customers, or, they somehow failed to do so in Turkey. These mannequins are caught in a bizarre condition, true, but when I inspected them with a closer look, I started to think that they were trying to tell me a different story. It was something other than “Buy what I wear!” While picking my brain about this, I started to read “My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices.” In that novel, I came across Mehrangiz Kar’s article, “Death of a Mannequin.” I would like to share an excerpt from that part:
After reading it, I began to see the inequality between women and men--of which I had been aware all my life--in a different paradigm. It is essentially a war, declared by one gender against another. When Judith Butler said, “Social gender is the sexualized manifestation of the inequality between men and women”[…], she must have meant just that.
“The female mannequins were the first group of unveiled women in Iran who were forced to wear the Islamic veil. […] After the hair was lost, only the roundness of women’s faces, their daintily colored lips, their blushing cheeks, and their adorned eyelashes remained visible. But the authorities could no longer tolerate these attractive faces, so the continued the Islamization of women’s look, with a little help from the mannequins. These mannequins were turned into role models for Iranian women: they were already veiled, but this wasn’t enough. Tradesmen, alarmed by the drastic repression, took action in accordance with the new Islamic orders. Gradually, the color of the mannequins’ faces faded away. The rouge of the lipstick and their blush evaporated. Their eyes started to appear dead and hollow. A sense of fright nested in their gaze that bore little resemblance to the air of modesty and chastity the Islamic Republic wished to summon. It did not take long for these mannequins to adopt the role of leaders of the repressed women. […] The owners of the clothes shops finally came to the conclusion that they might be better off detaching the heads of the mannequins from their bodies altogether. […] These beheaded mannequins were left with only a round face made out of cardboard. They had no eyes, no eyebrows, no noses, no mouths. The ideal woman for the fundamentalists was a woman who did not have eyes to see, a tongue to speak, and legs to run away. The shop owners chopped off the fingers of the female mannequins and replaced their hands with narrow, extended plastic cylinders. Thus they once and for all obliterated every aspect of feminine identity and appearance […]”
At present, there is no law against the display of the mannequins in Turkey. Then, what these mannequins were telling me? I looked at the photos I took with my Polaroid camera.
What I saw was women, imprisoned behind the display windows; trapped amongst men, chopped into two, standardized, forced to breed, pushed to cover their head, stripped of any means of self-defense by torn limbs and arrested as sex objects, forcefully denuded as a child, conditioned to marriage wearing a bridal gown.
After the exhibition, I launched the Instagram account for the mannequins, called @cansizmankenler
Finally, photos of Turkish mannequins became a book.
Once you arrive at the last sentence of the book, everyone you have met along the way will be intertwined with your life, you will find traces from the illustrations of the book in people’s faces you encounter in İstanbul. Whenever you gaze from the boat towards the pier and notice a purple scarf, you will wonder…
Those who stand at equal distance to steak tartar a la turca and sushi… Those who do not sleep but simply rest their eyes… Those who are Müjde Ar pretending to be Gülşen Bubikoğlu… Those who cannot forget he kissed another… And those who are flabbergasted against the death of a person at our age… This book is just for you!
There are many well-known places, faces and characters in this story. There is familiar love, unfaithfulness and being fooled. There is Alaz, there is Batu, there is love! There is a winner, a loser, a sensitive one and an avoidant one; there is a runner, a survivor, one that gets caught and one that gets away. At once everyone is here and yet there is only one.
Fırat Uran hails familiarities, walks, boats, bars, streets, cafes and most importantly roads, being on the road.
For those who leave the well-traveled roads and drawing the boundaries of new ones with yellow ribbons… For those who risk falling while negotiating those new roads…
Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu
A naïve novel about encounters in lost highways where we will also lose ourselves. True, trailblazing and bold. The nostalgia will linger with the readers and those who haven’t read it yet will be curious.
Sami Berat Marçalı
This is gonna be popular!
Kara Köpek is one of us.
Qubra Uzun (DJ)
It is for everyone who choses “dare” every time they play the game of “Truth or Dare”, even though they know it means getting messed up.
Burcu Eken (Doggy Cin Blues)
Fırat Uran started his journey two years ago with a road story that was a love story which revealed new paths beyond the known ones. Now, in Kara Köpek, the road continues with the dance of darkness and light, with the hurt and the beauty of being one’s authentic self at an age full of hatred, with the everchanging hardships and excitement of being young. Kara Köpek is about traumas and fears, loneliness and togetherness, discovering one’s self and holding hands. It is ardor of love and passion, childhood memories, teenage angst, family scars, the dogs inside us, transformation, “Rüya Sineması”, the love between Joker and Batman, plenty of Kadıköy and Elizabeth’s salute…
Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu (Performance Artist, Editor)
I came across parts of my own life while reading Kara Köpek. We all go through our own traumas and create our own black dogs. Mine was never being able to trust anyone. Eventually, I released my black dog and now it freely roams the streets. I wish Kara Köpek which Fırat Uran has delicately written and Ece Cangüden has creatively illustrated would attract enough attention and be made into a film.
Cake Mosque (Drag Queen)
You will read the noble and fluent effort to make visible what is natural in Turkey’s LGBTIQ+ community in a socio-cultural structure that tries tirelessly to render them invisible. Encouraging, liberating, pluralist, rejecting “otherization” and prejudices, Kara Köpek is the perfect antidote for those suffocating just because they want to breathe as their authentic selves.
Gazi Mehmet Emin Adanalı (Boğaziçi University, Academician)
I came across that sentiment that make you say “I know this feeling!” while reading this book, the one that is familiar, unwanted, but extremely common at the same time. I am sure I was there when the words--the bodies--made love. Fırat has delivered us yet another book that I devoured, a book that left me with the question: now what? For everyone to own up to their account.
Buket Konur (Editor)
Please hold the screen vertically.