“What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”

Byzantium in Popular Culture

“What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture navigates through the eclectic presence of Byzantium in popular culture. Curated by Emir Alışık, the exhibition explores multiple and conflicting meanings of Byzantinism, and questions popular culture’s interaction with the Byzantine legacy. It scrutinizes a selection of motifs found in visual arts, literature, metal music, comics and graphic novels, video games, movies, and fashion representing Byzantium in popular culture.

Emir Alışık and Gülru Tanman co-authors the introductory chapter to the catalogue accompanying “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture. The volume brings together the articles of 10 researchers who examine and interpret Byzantinism’s representations in various fields of art. The articles by Roland Betancourt, Felice Lifshitz, Brigitte Pitarakis, Sinan Ekim, Yağmur Karakaya, Elif Demirtiken, Jeremy J. Swist, Marco Fasolio, Haris Theodorelis-Rigas, and Emir Alışık discuss how Byzantinisms appearing in various domains of popular culture relate to the Byzantine history depending on the context in which those artworks are produced.

Publication Date: 2021
Number of Pages: 432

ISBN: 978-605-4642-98-4

08 Foreword
İnan ve İpek Kıraç 

10 Introduction
Emir Alışık ve Gülru Tanman 

20 Neon Byzantium: Aesthetics without Iconography in Las Vegas
Roland Betancourt 

56 The Bear Keeper’s Daughter and the Armenian Dwarf: Cinematic Byzantinism in Postwar Europe
Felice Lifshitz

86 Byzantine Art Made Contemporary: From Greek Revolution to Athenian Street Art through the Prism of the Greek Historiographic Narrative
Brigitte Pitarakis 

122 Teaching the Nation’s Children about the Byzantines: Representations of the Byzantine Empire in Turkish History Textbooks (1930–1960)
Sinan Ekim 

144 Hagia Sophia: The Eternal Light in the Dark Byzantium
Yağmur Karakaya 

170 The Byzantine Woman Imagined in the Twenty-First Century: Theodora, Once Again and Evermore
Elif Demirtiken 

200 Headbanging to Byzantium: The Reception of the Byzantine Empire in Metal Music
Jeremy J. Swist 

232 Between History, Exoticism, and Enlightened Prejudices: Some Aspects of Byzantine Presence in Video Games
Marco Fasolio 

264 From Didactic Popularization to Counterculture: Byzantium Meets the World of Comics
Haris Theodorelis-Rigas 

290 Towards an Unearthly Byzantium: Mapping Out Topoi of Byzantinisms in Speculative Fiction
Emir Alışık 

318 Catalogue 

320 Iconostasis

340 Sailing to Byzantium

358 Jewel of the World

374 Riotous Colors

390 Cloak and Dagger

402 Hagia Sophia: The Monument Feminized

408 Theodora: The Woman Monumentalized

414 Monuments of Textiles

422 Movies

“What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”

Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition at the Pera Museum called “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture, curated by Emir Alışık, navigates through the eclectic presence of Byzantium in popular culture. 

“What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”