Chocolate & Mixed Nuts
Meltem Arikan is a Turkish/Welsh author who has dedicated her 25 years to write against the Patriarchal system and to fight for freedom of speech and expression. Arikan is known for her sharp critique of society and fearless and outspoken voice in her novels, plays, poems and articles.
Arikan’s first short stories and essays were published between 1992 to 1995 in various literary journals. Her first novel was published in 1999. Unfortunately, her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh), was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect Minors from Obscene Publications. However, the ban was lifted after fighting, and Arıkan was awarded the “Freedom of Thought and Speech Award 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association.
Arikan has written 11 books, including nine novels and five plays. She wrote the libretto for the short opera “Die Verführung Europas”, which was staged as part of Theatre Freiburg’s large-scale multidisciplinary project “Eurotopia” in 2017. She has received several awards and was short-listed for the Freedom of Expression Award in 2014 by Index on Censorship for her play ‘Mi Minor’, which the Turkish authorities claimed was a rehearsal for the Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013. Their subsequent hate campaign, fuelled by state-sponsored media, forced her to leave Turkey to live in Wales. In 2019 Turkish court accepted Gezi Indictment seeking life sentences for 16 people, including her.
Since 2011 her articles are being published on various websites in different countries including, News Junkie Post, Index on Censorship regularly on the digital world, censorship, woman rights, child abuse, defending the freedom of expression, autism.
She was diagnosed with Autism /Asperger 52 years old as an Exile in Wales. This diagnosis was liberating for her. She has got many answers about herself. She realises that her wiring system makes it harder for her to do many things naturally to other people. But, on the flip side, it is essential to be aware that Asperger can also give her many magical perceptions that many neurotypicals are not capable of. So she decided to come out because there is still not enough Autism spectrum awareness even today. She believes that if those on the autistic spectrum share their experiences openly, it wouldn’t only help other autistic people and help neurotypical people better understand both autistic people and their behaviour.
Her life has completely changed in the darkest time; it profoundly affected her life to ongoing discovery and transformation that can profoundly impact people’s lives and share her experience with other people.
1999, And… Or… Maybe…, (Arkadaş Publications (4th edition, 2011)
2000, Yes… But… As If… Arkadaş Publications (4th edition, 2011)
2002, Undressing Herself, Arkadaş Publications (6th edition, 2011)
2003, Stop Hurting My Flesh, Arkadaş Publications (7th edition, 2011)
2005, You Exist In No Way, Everest Publications (5 editions, 2005-08)
2006, Hope is a Curse, Eksik Parça Publications (5 editions)
2009, The Tempest of Yearning, Yitik Ülke Publications (3 editions), Shkupi Publishing House (2012) (translated to Albanian by Ahmed Quazimi published in Macedonia)
2015, Erospa, Akılçelen Publications
2018, Tek Bildikleri Aşktı, Eksik Parça Publications
2008, The Body Knows, - Research Book Destek Publications (4 editions)
2020, I confess I'm guilty - Essay KKM publications
2007, I’m Breaking the Game, 10+ (premiered at the Zurich Theater Spectacle)
2009, Parallel (dramaturgy), 10+ (premiered at Linz 2009: European Capital of Culture program)
2012 – 2013, Mi Minor, İstanbul
2017, Enough is Enough, Wales
2019, Y Brain / Kargalar, Wales
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
2004, “Freedom of Thought and Speech Award ” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association for Stop Hurting My Flesh
2007, “New Unique Play” prize by Lions Theatrical Awards for I’m Breaking the Game
2012, Mi Minor, “Best Play of the Year” prize by Readers of Radikal Newspaper
2013, Mi Minor , “Best Play of the Year” nomination at Lions Theatrical Awards
2014, “Freedom of Expression in Arts Award” shortlisted by Index On Censorship
2019-2020, "The First Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowship"
FEATURES AND EXHIBITIONS
2014 October, Birds and Words, Roath Park, Terranova Cafe / Wales
2015, Special edition of ARTiculAction “ Manipulated Everyday ” ARTiculAction Art Review
2020 April, CARAD (Community Arts Rhayader and District) Rhayader Museum and Gallery Featured Artist.