Istanbul – a hybrid city of contrasts

The Grand Bazaar - Ceramics

The Grand Bazaar - Ceramics

To state that Istanbul is an impressive city would be somewhat of an understatement. It is an overwhelming place, with over 14 million inhabitants and crossing two continents. Istanbul is total sensory overload, with the colourful, beautiful ceramics, hundreds of glittering lanterns, sumptuous textiles visually overlaying the call to prayer, Turkish folk and contemporary Turkish dance music. Layered underneath these multiple visual and aural delights is the wafting and fragrant smells of hookah smoke and grilled kebab meat.

Traditional Dress

Traditional Dress

Many of the crafts of Turkey have been around for many centuries, with each having its own rich historical tradition.

Turkish lanterns

Turkish lanterns

The many layers of the built environment is another aspect that I find fascinating. For example, at the archeological site of Troy there is evidence of 9 cities, each built on top of the last. In Istanbul graffiti on the train fences contrasts with the Roman ruins, with the Marmara Sea providing an epic and naturally beautiful backdrop to the city.

Graffiti and Roman Ruins

Graffiti and Roman Ruins

Mapping and Reshaping of Cultural Identity by Digital Media

As part of our participation at ISEA2011, we are attending a number of workshops that explore mapping. Today we went to the first session of Mapping and Reshaping of Cultural Identity by Digital Media, run by Nela Milic, Anastasios Maragiannis, Jee Oh and Thaer Zuabi. The workshop aims to engage participants to use a range of media to record their experiences of the city to create a hybrid, collaborative media work. The workshop focuses on:

on representation and “hybridity”, the multiplicity of possibilities digital technology offers as a vehicle to enhance documentation, visualization, and individual participation. The workshop will focus on more immersive audiovisual and editing practices than traditional media, namely non-fiction, genres can offer.

This afternoon, we went out and recorded sounds and images for the workshop, which we will post once we complete this workshop.

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