Eda Aylin Genc

A Critical Investigation into the Impact of Neoliberalism on the Production and Consumption of Art: The Case of the Istanbul& Liverpool Biennials

Research Abstract: Contemporary processes of globalization are transforming cultural production and the urban experience. ‘Biennial culture’ now plays a key role in constituting the contemporary art world. Biennials bring together a variety of institutions such as galleries, educational platforms, business organizations, ministries of culture and artists. They emerge as a provocative and critical site where the market, state and community actors construct and negotiate the processes of neoliberalisation to (re)produce new sites in urban development. This research is designed to understand the tensions produced by the juxtaposition of the above organizations in the broader economic context of eoliberalism and its impact on the production and consumption of art.

Bio: After graduating from Koc University, Sociology department Eda Aylin Genc started her MA Degree in UK at University of Westminster on Marketing Communications. When she came back to Istanbul, she followed her career path by working in different areas of marketing and market research firms and started lecturing. She is currently completing her PHD at Manchester metropolitan University, UK on the department of Sociology and conducting her fieldwork. Her research interests center on topics such as cultural festivals and their impact on both cities cultural footprint and how aesthetics works produced and exhibited affects awareness that constructs new ways that transform cultural understanding.


Hasan Sercan Sağlam

Multilayered Historical Urban Pattern: The Case of Galata

Research Abstract: Galata (Sykai) was the 13th region of Constantinople, which was especially noted for its Genoese period lasted between 1267-1453. The research aims to demonstrate the built environment of Genoese Galata with an urban point of view in the first place. The subject was previously examined mainly with a historical point of view despite bold mapping attempts, which naturally complicated to demonstrate the multilayered urban pattern of a rich palimpsest. By using primary resources, it is actually possible to set significant spatial relations between different historical urban layers as a continuity phenomenon inside cities, in which I was able to demonstrate during my PhD study for Galata to a certain extent. However, there are further questions to be answered for the Genoese period of this place, where some more primary resources need to be carefully applied on the topography, in consideration of Byzantine, Ottoman and perhaps even Roman times of the quarter. For instance, documents about given concessions to Genoese inhabitants also mention some contemporary monuments of Galata as reference points, which are in fact still waiting to be discovered by location. However, given metric data and technical expressions related to modern urbanism studies could be effectively deployed as helpful tools. Therefore, the research not only benefits from interdisciplinary methods but also includes deciphering Late Medieval statements for urban issues; meanwhile noticing similar concerns and precautions when compared with modern times. Apart from buildings, it is possible to find traces of landscape elements inside separate Byzantine and Genoese archival documents from same decades as well. As a result, it is expected that further connections between different periods of a settlement will be displayed, together with further spatial discoveries and explanations for the Genoese Galata within the scope of this research.

Bio: H. Sercan Sağlam has completed his BSc on Urban and Regional Planning in Istanbul Technical University in 2011. His MA degree was on Conservation and Regeneration, received in 2013 from the University of Sheffield with the thesis "The Decline of Hammams: Conservation Strategies for the Turkish Baths". He completed his PhD on Preservation of the Architectural Heritage in Politecnico di Milano in 2018 and his PhD thesis was entitled "Urban Palimpsest at Galata & An Architectural Inventory Study for the Genoese Colonial Territories in Asia Minor". His research interests are mainly focused on urban history and architectural heritage issues.


Yeliz Kahya

Istanbul’s Urban Social Infrastructures: Art-driven Co-creation and Self-organization Scene in the City

Research Abstract: Contemporary cities’ urban social infrastructures are currently developing through which new types of spaces allowing community-oriented co-creation and self-organization that are mostly found in creative and cultural industries complement the traditional urban settings of social copresences, encounters and knowledge exchange. In the contemporary art literature, the art-driven co- creation and self-organization is extensively considered as new urban social practices that promote new ways of collaborative and interactive social exchanges between diverse works, practices, communities and cultures. These emerging and strengthening bottom-up and self-organized social practices come up with new forms of spaces in which social copresences are actualized in cities. They provide various lanes through which different communities establish permanent informal interactions with each other in order to confront ideas and to tap creative practices from other domains of knowledge. They are considered as important components of creative cities. Considering the increase in the new type of collaboratively oriented spaces of art in Istanbul, I ask for the ways through which these spaces create new urban social infrastructures of Istanbul and plug into the urban space of Istanbul. In doing so, I will visualize the temporal and spatial articulation of these emerging art spaces within the urban setting of Istanbul through developing interactive map-based tool that maintain an interactive, web-based platform and collaborative authoring environment. The outcome of the research will contribute in the understanding of the self-organizing and bottom-up character of urban social life and the spatial organization of cultural creative work in Istanbul.

Bio: Guzin Yeliz Kahya is an urban designer and landscape architect, and currently full-time working as a research assistant at the Department of City and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture in Erciyes University (Kayseri, Turkey). She completed her PhD in City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University in April 2015 with her Ph.D. dissertation entitled ‘Spatio-temporal Structuration of Art and Cultural Events Mediated Urban Experience in Beyoğlu’. She affiliated Georgia Institute of Technology, Faculty of Architecture as a visitor researcher and worked on spatial analysis methods, including Space Syntax and ArcGis based methods in order to question social role of urban space network in the context of Beyoğlu urban area. In her Ph.D. dissertation, she examined the structural role of contemporary art scene on the spatial and temporal organization of urban social life in Istanbul. Excerpts from her doctoral research published in the edited proceedings of international and national symposiums. The three papers extensively discussing the findings that were derived in her doctoral research are in the process of review by international peer-reviewed publications. Her research interests are urban focused. It covers the interdisciplinary terrain of social and space oriented fields of urban research with a particular interest in the role of urban space in the mediation of social activities in cities.


Chloe Bordewich

Empire of Suspicion: Politics, Power, and Social Trust in Ottoman Cairo and Istanbul, 1867-1922

Research Abstract: Chloe Bordewich’s research examines the intersection of secrecy, surveillance, and mass politics in Istanbul and Cairo in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th. By focusing on links between these parallel hubs of dissident politics, it aims to illuminate a new dimension of the complicated relationship between the imperial center and the Egyptian khedivate. Ottoman dissidents from throughout the empire congregated in Cairo, while Arab political movements flourished in Istanbul. In both capitals, the ascendancy of mass politics stimulated a new urgency for controlling privileged information. This project seeks to document the construction of institutions and practices to meet this objective, and, importantly, how they embedded themselves in the social psyche. What were the lasting implications for people’s private lives, their social relationships, and their understanding of the relationship between themselves and the state? The proposed research will examine how Arab communities fit into the urban fabric of Istanbul. How and where did they gather? On what infrastructure were the social networks they established within Istanbul, and between Istanbul and Cairo, built? To address these questions, the proposed research weaves personal sources into imperial history, delving into the blurry boundary between private and public secrets. It draws on Arab Ottoman memoirs and private correspondence alongside population registers, print media, and state archives. Placing the Ottoman case in the context of a global information panic, this project sheds light on the making and breaking of social trust during this final chapter of shared history.

Bio: Chloe Bordewich is a PhD candidate in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, from which she also received an AM in History. She received an AB in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2012 and was a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) in Cairo, Egypt, from 2012-13. Before returning to academia, she worked on projects in Egypt, Madagascar, and the DR Congo for the Atlanta, USA-based Carter Center. She has since studied Turkish at Boğaziçi University and Ottoman at the Ottoman Studies Foundation Summer School in Cunda. Chloe’s research focuses on the nexus of information and power in the late Ottoman Arab world. She is also interested in the politics of memory and use of literary sources alongside the traditional archive.


Vincenza Iadevaia

Considerations of the Mise-en-scène in Ferzan Özpetek's Harem Suare, through Space and Visual Representation: from Mikhail Bakhtin to Jean L. Gérôme

Research Abstract: Each cinematic narrative creates its own chronotope, a set of reference-points in place and time which constitute the particularity of a way of filming. Each filmic event is correlated to a chronological order and each narrative thus has an “intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships” in constructing a particular world (Bakhtin 84). In this respect, my analysis takes into consideration the visual representation of Istanbul as recounted by the French painter Jean L. Gerome and how his work may be used as a model to recreate an imagined space and an imagined time in Ferzan Özpetek’s work. This research aims to enter a different terrain of intersubjectivity and visuality, confronting the narrative and aesthetic production of the Orient, a world, which has been reproduced and decodified both in film and visual art. I suggest that we can analyze the functions of preserved space, imitated space and imagined space considering the following aspects: a) the relationship between the places depicted in a film; b) the way these places are described and perceived by the narrator(s) and/or character(s); c) the meaning of these places within culture. While space constitutes an important role in defining the aim of the film's subjects, its mode of representation also conveys the filmmaker's opinion about the event as well as his aesthetic preferences. In the case of Özpetek's cinema, not only has the filmmaker shed light on certain places and characters, but he has also opened up a series of issues about the relationship between film and historical representation, raising questions such as: Can cinema, as form of art, reshape and reinterpret historical events?

Bio: Vincenza Iadevaia is a PhD candidate at Florida Atlantic University. She is currently writing her dissertation on Migrant Filmmakers in Italian Cinema, with a section devoted to Özpetek’s “double” identity in relation to the mirror-like effect of historical juxtaposition, the spatial and temporal doubling that “re-setting” a historical period entails. She worked in the film industry and this opportunity gave her the passion and the ability to integrate practical and theorethical aspects of Italian films. Her passion about movies, television, history and culture helps her analyze the societies through an interdisciplinary perspective. While taking graduate seminars, she taught Italian Film and Italian Culture in addition to Italian Language classes. Her interests center on the relation between Italian Cinema and Turkish Cinema, Diaspora and Transnationality.


Zehra Betül Atasoy

The Invisible Women of Istanbul, 1930-1960

Research Abstract: My research explores the everyday practices of urban women from various social strata in Istanbul between 1930 and 1960. I investigate how women individualized, received, reacted to, and/or internalized the social and cultural changes under the Turkish modernization project in their quotidian urban environments. I have two interwoven agendas: Investigating the external impact of the extensive state-initiated social reformations in women’s quotidian urban lives and resituating women in urban historiography. For the former, I explore what experiences gave rise to day-to-day perceptions and orientations of actions, and how the reformation of social and cultural life was received at a local-level. The sites and areas of reform that are examined include the modernization of urban life (open public squares), reorganization of Islam in the public sphere (religious rituals), industrial production (factory workers), and public health (women’s bodies and sexuality). Although new rules and regulations were passed for implementation across the country in a homogenous manner, I explore one aspect of the modernization project and its external and unique implementation in a particular urban setting in each chapter. In short, I investigate the spatial “spillover effects (externalities)” of the modernization project, juxtaposing fragmented urban spaces and women from various social strata, specifically for the city of Istanbul. I believe that showing the externalities of major social, cultural and political decisions in seemingly unrelated urban sites will help with the uncovering of different aspects of the relationship between the urban environment, everyday life and the political milieu.

Bio: Zehra Betül Atasoy is currently conducting her PhD studies in Urban Systems, which is an interdisciplinary doctoral program between New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Architecture in and her master’s degree in History of Architecture from Istanbul Technical University. In addition, she worked as an editor for Arkitera Architecture Center between 2011 and 2013. Atasoy’s dissertation examines the everyday practices of women from various social standings in Republican Istanbul.