Post image for Art that Opens Our Eyes to Istanbul’s Political Disintegration

ISTANBUL — The ground was literally shaking as we walked into the dilapidated Rizzo Palace on the island of Büyükada, the biggest of the Prince Islands of Istanbul.

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Post image for In Two Istanbul Galleries, Artists Piece Together Memories of Gezi

ISTANBUL — Central Istanbul looks markedly different today than it did around this time two years ago.

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Post image for What Is the Role of an Intellectual During a Revolution?

ISTANBUL — Last Saturday Yassin al-Haj Saleh, one of the most vocal intellectuals of the Syrian Civil War or Revolution (depending on your perspective), attended a screening of Our Terrible Country (2014) at SALT Galata.

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Post image for In the Wake of Gezi, Taking Stock of Istanbul’s Art Scene

ISTANBUL — What are the ramifications of the Gezi Taksim protests for the artistic community in Istanbul and, by extension, the arts in Turkey?

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Selfie Justification

by Alicia Eler on March 17, 2014

Post image for Selfie Justification

LOS ANGELES — I hit the brakes at a stoplight and turn my head to the left. I spot a young woman waiting for the bus. In golden capital letters on her t-shirt, the words WHY NOT shine boldly.

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Post image for As the Ottoman Empire Turns: Taner Ceylan on Occupy Gezi and Turkish Taboos

German-born, Istanbul-based Turkish artist Taner Ceylan, a prominent Turkish artist whose work deals with the hidden histories of the Ottoman Empire.

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Post image for Urban Heroes of Istanbul: It’s About Public Space

ISTANBUL — Last Monday night, the word on Twitter was that the police tanks were coming back to the square from the southeast. Thousands rallied, adorned in their bike helmets, swimming goggles, and bright smiles underneath their gas masks.

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Post image for Reading the Writing on the Wall at #OccupyGezi, Part 2

ISTANBUL — ‘Look at all the things a few trees can do!’ reads this graffitti near Tünel on Istiklal Boulevard. Erdoğan infamously dismissed the protests in a speech where he said ‘This is all too much for a few little trees.’ Of course, the trees were symbols of the general policy of the AKP government of sellling public land to private coorporations without public consent.

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Post image for Reading the Writing on the Wall at #OccupyGezi, Part 1

ISTANBUL — The graffitti that now covers the streets of Istanbul cannot be called ‘art.’ It was put there by people on the run from tear gas and billy clubs. It was done quickly and secretly, at night or in flight. It is a reflection of the social media that inspired it — pithy, angry, quick, and short. The grafitti are spray paint tweets on brick and mortar. And they tell a story — they reveal the hows and whys of this mass, varied uprising against an increasingly arrogant ruler.

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Post image for Istanbul University Responds to Deaccession Controversy with Press Release

The latest news coming out of Istanbul in the story of the impending museum deaccession auction is that the focal point of the controversy, Istanbul Bilgi University, has issued a press release and agreed to a meeting with activists. The university administers the recently closed Santralistanbul Museum of Contemporary Art, and two weeks ago, the news broke that the school was planning to sell off a good chunk of the museum’s collection — some 150 artworks that were purchased by the institution. A group of activists started a petition in response and has been working hard to protest and publicize the issue.

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