'Connecting the Dots', Pera Museum, Istanbul, 2013
'Water Work', Siemens Sanat, Istanbul, 2013

This research project was initiated and curated by Ass. Prof. Mürteza Fidan (Fine Arts Department, Marmara University, İstanbul), Dr. Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (Interfaculty ArtScience, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague), Prof. T. Melih Görgün (Design Department, Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, İstanbul) and Gosse de Kort MMus BArch (Interfaculty ArtScience/T.I.M.E. Department, Royal Academy of Art / Royal Conservatoire, The Hague).

DIMENTION: A5 Printed on Craft Paper, Table Design

THEME: Since old, the Bosphorus has figured as site, metaphor, and material of İstanbul as a city on the border of continents, religions, and languages. For millennia, İstanbul, the old Byzantium and Constantinople, has been the capital of empires, and again today, it finds itself as a major city in one the fastest growing economies in the world.

In the fluid history through which İstanbul is stil moving, the Bosphorus, its location, geography, and weather, has been one of the main actors: inhibiting or facilitating migration from West to East and vice versa, trading between the Euxine and Mediterranean Seas, as locus of economic circulation, urban gentrification, and drifting populations, as symbol of division and cohesion. In all its continuously changing appearances, it has remained paradoxically the only continuous factor in the successions of historic ruptures.

On another level, the water of the Bosphorus also symbolizes to incessant mixing, and sulandırılmış (watering down) of ethnic, political, and religious movements that bridged its flow. Whether court plots slowly sinking into marshes of political intrigue, the washing away of urban liberties by rural customs, or the dilation of ideological motives in the whirlpool of economic boom.

Due to its geographical positioning, its form and shape, the Bosphorus cannot be ignored in daily İstanbul life. It needs to be crossed by boat or by bridge, housing prices depend on its view, and suburbanity is defined by its absence. No longer a border, it is of constant influence on everyday movements, slowing down traveling time as a relatively empty interpunction between cars and crowds, a flat surface as a counterpoint to the hills rising up on both shores. The Bosphorus allows İstanbul to breathe.

THESIS: Three of my friends and I have decided for our thesis to be 'Collective Memory of Istanbul'. We took in account three different stories and combined in one whole story. We designed and created a special table to combine our projects.

We carved the table as in a periodic timeline and put together our stories that takes place in different periods of time: a story of childhood where Serap used to think that a certain comic book was actually telling her life and replacing her childhood photographs with the frames of the comic books, my grandfathers journey from Istanbul to Paris, Davud creating non existent pictures from his childhood memories by using Photoshop. This project consists of our past combining together, thus we named this project "Collective Memory". 

BOOK THESIS: My grandfather, Namık Kemal Yolga, who served as an ambassador of Turkey in Paris during 2nd World War, saved many lives by giving Jews Turkish Passports and departing them from Paris to Istanbul.

It is a book about the times during the war that reaches to Istanbul using Namık Kemal Yolga’s own video, photography and text archives.

Istanbul was not just a beautiful city near the sea that conjuncts Asia and Europe, it meant freedom and salvation for many people.


From Paris to Istanbul




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