Urban Reflections: Visions of Modern Urbanity


March 23, 2023 / 19:00

Pera Museum is hosting a panel titled “Urban Reflections: Visions of Modern Urbanity” in the context of the Istanbuls Today exhibition. 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.

The panel, moderated by an independent researcher and curator, Eda Yiğit, will take place with the participation of the speakers, the artists Ali Taptık and Osman Bozkurt and Prof. Dr. Biray Kolluoğlu. The focus of the discussions will be the restructuring of the modern city and the habitual everyday life of the city’s human beings, their thought processes, the ways their perception of time can be impacted, and how all of this is reflected in photography. 

The panel will feature Ali Taptık’s Land Nostalgia series, describing the impact of constant mobility and restructuring of the topography of the urban scene. Osman Bozkurt’s “Scenic Views” series will start a discussion on how institutional locations are represented and their relationship with reality. The exhibition will be the backdrop around which the artists’ narrations will present the practical side of a range of their explorations–from their experiences to their aesthetic choices, as well as their relationship with Istanbul.

Looking at photography with an urban perspective and guided by the catalog text written by Biray Kolluoğlu, Faculty Member at Boğaziçi University’s Sociology Department, the key concepts of temporality, publicness and nostalgia that determine the perception of urbanity will be discussed as they relate to the bonds we form with the past and in the light of class and identity distinctions in the city. Among the leading topics to be scrutinized at the panel through the medium of photography will be the city-dweller’s contact with the environment, his feelings of loneliness, emptiness and not belonging, and how these themes are reflected in the urban setting.

Free admissions, drop-in. This event will take place in the auditorium. The talk will be in Turkish.

About Ali Taptık
Artist, architect and publisher. After seven years, he left his doctorate studies on the interaction of city and textile production at the ITU Architectural Design Program for ideological reasons. In his works, he focuses on issues such as the representation of urban landscape and architecture, the relationship between the individual and the city, psycho-geography, and literature and visuality. In addition to his work with institutions documenting and researching the ever-changing Istanbul, he has published many photography books. He is also one of the founders of the Bandrolsüz collective, which works on the distribution of independent artist’s books, and an activist for the protection of Yedikule Gardens. He continues his publishing activities in Onagöre, a design and publishing studio he founded. 

About Biray Kolluoğlu
Lecturer at Boğaziçi University, Department of Sociology. She completed her PhD in 2002 at Binghamton University, Department of Sociology (New York, USA). She did studies at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Berlin, Germany) in 2004 and at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Vienna, Austria) in 2020. She does research and publications in the fields of urban sociology, historical sociology, sociology of space and memory, and port cities. She is currently working on culture and education in Turkey. She is the editor of New Perspectives on Turkey and writes popular sociology articles under the title of Zappa Zamanlar.

About Eda Yiğit
Independent Researcher and Curator. Eda Yiğit earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, City Planning Department, and a Master’s Degree from the Urban Planning Program. She is currently engaged in doctoral research on collective memory in the Sociology Department of the same university. Eda Yiğit has taken part in various projects in the fields of contemporary art, museum studies and oral history. She has worked at the Adalar (Princes’ Islands) Museum, Tema Foundation, Karşı Sanat (Anti-Art), and Tüyap Art Fair, among other organizations. She has published works on her oral history research, as well as in the areas of chronological documentation and archival studies. Eda Yiğit’s academic pursuit is focused on topics that include memory studies, oral history, cultural and industrial heritage.  In her exhibit review essays in the area of contemporary art, she endeavors to write on subjects such as the absence of security and the practical aspects of solidarity and organizing. She is the co-editor of the photography e-zine Orta Format (Medium Format). She is a member of AICA Türkiye, Museum Studies Professional Association, and the independent artist solidarity platform Vatoz. Eda Yiğit continues to pursue her career, working out of her office in Beyoğlu’s Tokatlıyan Han.

About Osman Bozkurt
Artist. He graduated from Mimar Sinan University Department of Photography, and gave lectures at various universities as a lecturer. In his works, Bozkurt witnesses the subconscious subtleties and forgotten paradoxes of city life with photographs and videos in order to create an urban memory. Identity and forms of representation; city, urban life and architecture; boundaries of public and private space; memory, remembering and forgetting; acceptance and rejection; function and forced dysfunction and collective creativity constitute the main axis of his work. He is the co-founder and co-director of PiST/// Interdisciplinary Project Space, a non-for-profit, independent artist-run space, founded in 2006. He lives and produces in Istanbul.

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