Home Photograph - Gonul Zeki at Pride stall

Photograph - Gonul Zeki at Pride stall



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Object history

This photograph shows photographer Gonul Zeki posing at a stall at a Pride celebration, selling merchandise they designed and printed in Haggerston.

After funding for the radical screen-printing collective the Lenthall Road workshop was withdrawn, photographer Gonul Zeki used the workshop as a commercial enterprise to print T-shirts and other merchandise for the developing lesbian and gay community.

Gonul’s signature T-shirts and mugs became a regular feature at Pride festivals around Britain, and by 1998 ‘The Workshop’ was advertised as offering the largest selection of lesbian and gay t-shirts in Europe.

Personal experiences

Gonul was the one who had the first t-shirts out that said 'I think my girlfriend's a lesbian' for instance which you see all over the place. 'I can't even think straight' is another one that was all over the place and there's lots and lots of people who do it.

You know, I bumped into somebody on a pride march last year who had bought her t-shirt from go at the age of 16 and it wears it to every single Pride. Every single one of them. I think it was Oxford actually. And she's very proud of this, she's like "this is my pride t-shirt, I always wear it, and this is where I bought it." And it's lovely because you do see people, and I have people coming to the store, who buy a t-shirt from Shrinking Violet every single Pride.

But the whole process was to make people laugh. What she [Gonul] liked was to be able to see people coming up to the store and either be slightly taken aback or to just be laughing at what she'd put on there.

What she wanted to do was to always give something back. So she would go and and this girl would arrive at a Pride with merchandise whether you wanted it or not, or had any means of actually selling it. But yeah, she was she was a great supporter of Pride events. Particularly the smaller Prides and the very community focused Prides, which is why she was one of the original people that came and ran a stall at Oxford Pride and offered to print the volunteer t-shirts and then she did that every year.

And you know and she's so respected by so many Pride organisers that have worked with her and that she's helped support their events for decades.

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Zeki, Gonul (Featured)

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Width: 120mm
Length: 88mm

Credit line

From the archive of Gonul Zeki.

On display?