Urban Reflections: Encounters


March 30, 2023 / 19:00

As part of the Istanbuls Today exhibition, Pera Museum is hosting a panel titled “Urban Reflections: Encounters.” Accompanying the exhibition of the works of 11 photographers living in Istanbul that depict the bonds they have formed with the city from a sociological, cultural, political, environmental, and economic perspective are the writings of 7 academics, researchers and literary scholars who have been inspired by these themes.

To be moderated by author and radio broadcaster İlksen Mavituna, the panel will welcome the participation of Ahmet Sel, one of the exhibiting artists and N. Gamze Toksoy, exhibition catalogue contributing writer. The topics to be discussed will be migration, feelings of belonging, the theme of nativeness, and stereotyping.       

The panel will start off with comments on the article in the exhibition catalogue written by N. Gamze Toksoy, a faculty member at the Sociology Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, exploring the ways in which migrants are visually represented and how these representations can be a barrier to focusing on individual stories. In the second part of the panel, based on Ahmet Sel’s “Bizim Orada” (In Our Part of the Country) series, the importance and impact of bringing out personal stories in societies in crisis and transformation, as well as the relationship between photography and representation will be reviewed.

About Ahmet Sel
Photographer. Working in the fields of documentary photography and portrait photography, the artist studied communication at Paris-X (Université Paris Nanterre) and television journalism at INA (Institut National de l›Audiovisuel, Paris). Between 1980 and 2010, he lived in Paris and Moscow, working as a reporter and manager in various television channels and photography agencies. The artist, who continues his works by focusing on the stories of individuals in times of social change and crisis, has books published in France and Turkey. The artist, who prepared and presented a podcast titled Fotoğraf Konuşmaları (Photography Conversations) between 2020-2022, lives and produces in Istanbul.

About N. Gamze Toksoy
Lecturer at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Sociology. She also conducts visual sociology seminars at the same university. She does research in the field of visual studies and of ethnographic quality; and has publications focusing on social trauma, social memory, violence, migration, and gender. In recent years, she has been examining the links between the concepts of discrimination and violence and images in her work carried out around the general title of ‘social problems and images’. She attaches importance to criticisms of the visualization forms of social traumas and retains her hope that alternative approaches will be introduced. 

About İlksen Mavituna
Author, translator, and radio broadcaster. He studied philosophy at Galatasaray and Istanbul Universities. Since 2005, he has been working in various positions on Açık Radyo (Open Radio), preparing radio programs on literature, philosophy, contemporary art, and politics. He is a contributing author of the investigative books Polis Destan Yazdı (The Legendary Work of the Police) and Bu Ülkeden Gitmek (Leaving this Country).

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