The Long Heavy Road

[2019], Darinka Pop-Mitić and Nalan Yırtmaç
The Artwork
Artistic workshop and painting/print

A participatory writing and drawing room, in which migrants of all ages and walks of life are invited by the artists/editors to create and narrate the different, mostly humorous events that happened on their way to Fortress Europe.

Done by, with and for migrants, the mixed media artwork takes the shape of low-fi, DIY fanzines that make use of collages, drawings, and comics to create the first migrant street newspaper. A newcomer to the long tradition of street papers from the late 19th century, written, illustrated, edited, distributed and most importantly, read by people on the move.

Europe is (still) deprived of the voice and stories of the young, creative and witty people coming from Middle East and North Africa fleeing brutal wars and critical poverty. The fanzine, mixing the aesthetics of gallows humor and participatory impetus, creates a forum to both give voice to and de-victimize migrant communities in their own terms.

Each issue is edited by a different artistic board, and stops at a different location; the published fanzines are then made available locally in paper, and globally online.
Belgrade, Serbia
Darinka Pop-Mitić
Darinka Pop-Mitić. Born, lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia; Attended University of Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences before going to the Belgrade Art School. Winner of the October Salon in 2008 and 2009. Deals with history in fine arts. Part of the ad hoc artistic collective "The Joke and its relation to…" with Svebor Midžic, within which the following professions have been performed (you guess which by who): freelance artist, translator, dog-walking (in NYC, no less), kosher catering (real deal, Brooklyn Hasidic one), journalism (gossip page in defunct mob-related tabloid), artist's assistant, curator (of a small exhibition and unaccredited), editor, screenplay writer, street vendor…

Darinka Pop-Mitić is currently the editor-artist-in-chief of the Long Heavy Road fanzine.

Darinka Pop-Mitić and Nalan Yırtmaç were part of the Borderline Offensive artistic residency in Belgrade, RS in 2018, within the CZKD - Centre for Cultural Decontamination's programme, and the first step in the creation of "The Long Heavy Road".

Photo by David Plakke

Istanbul, Turkey
Nalan Yırtmaç
Nalan Yırtmaç was born in Istanbul in 1969. She graduated from the Painting Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University in 1994. She was an active member of a group of young artists who manages to enunciate a post-punk scene in Istanbul in the first half of nineties. Nalan Yırtmaç has had several solo exhibitions, and has participated in numerous group exhibitions and biennials in Turkey and abroad including Austria, France, Germany and Denmark. As an artist and a teacher, Nalan works with young communities, does art workshops with young people and runs a humour club which publishes a humour fanzine.

Nalan Yırtmaç is one of the creators of The Long Heavy Road, and was part of the editorial team for the Belgrade and Istanbul issues, but is no longer actively engaged in the artwork.

Darinka Pop-Mitić and Nalan Yırtmaç were part of the Borderline Offensive artistic residency in Belgrade, RS in 2018, within the CZKD - Centre for Cultural Decontamination's programme, and the first step in the creation of "The Long Heavy Road".
Targeted audience(s)
14+, tone adjustable to younger or adult audiences;

Can be presented at social, community and youth centres, city and indoor/outdoors culture festivals, or within regular programme of cultural institutions. Feasible for groups up to max. 16-20.

The workshop targets migrants/diaspora and minority communities as participants, but the fanzine is directed towards broad readership.
Set-up
Indoors location, versatile for group work and equippped with long tables, blackboards or writing surfaces and photocopy facilities. Materials are regular teaching/office material, if possible local media publications (newspapers, magazines, etc).

The working process is divided into several phases, mainly about drawing portraits, writing dadaist poems, sharing border-crossing stories, and developing shorter visual storytelling formats from the process.
Scenography
The work requires no special scenography, but it can be adapted to include exercises in wall graffiti, frieze and mural painting, or other forms of visual-arts based installations.

The work is based on a collective, collaborative process of creation in an intercultural and multilingual setting. Support of interpreters and migrant/diaspora community leaders and organisations is very important.
Budget
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