Serdar Soydan | In Search of My Lost Family: The Story of a Queer Archive


Serdar Soydan

In Search of My Lost Family: The Story of a Queer Archive

10 January 2018




The story of Serdar Soydan’s archive starts with a gay man who just came to terms with his own sexuality. In a time when the internet was not common, when reaching information was not as easy, he searches for the lives of other homosexuals in an effort to ease his loneliness. Soydan first finds refuge in the world of novels and stories, then delves into archives of newspapers and magazines, slowly realising that he is not alone. Within this growing archive he finds himself a family of sorts. Personal histories of these underground characters previously scattered over separate newspaper clippings finally meet in his archives. The result is a collection of queer histories which has been ignored and avoided until now.


In his talk Serdar Soydan focuses on stories of trans entertainers who had been taking stage since the 70s but were later banned in 1981. Showing examples from the publications that he archived, Soydan gives a detailed account of their irregular careers and several other historical events that made life complicated for them.


About Serdar Soydan:

Born in İstanbul in 1980, Soydan has graduated from the Cinema & TV Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, followed by a masters degree in Turkish Literature at the Boğaziçi University. His articles has been published in various literary magazines as well as newspapers. Soydan is also an editor of books for different publishers in Turkey while continuing to write scripts for TV series. His current research is on authors Bilge Karasu, Nezihe Meriç, Suat Derviş and Nahid Sırrı, in particular their rarely known texts that had been published in periodicals but nevertheless forgotten or not archived.