German-born, Istanbul-based Turkish artist Taner Ceylan, a prominent Turkish artist whose work deals with the hidden histories of the Ottoman Empire.
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.
Today, and for the first time since New York police evicted Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan on November 15, 2011, the Occupy Wall Street Screenprinters returned to Zuccotti, also known as Liberty Park, to print designs and show solidarity with the protesters of #OccupyGeziNYC.
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.
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.
In the last few days, the world is watching Turkey erupt in protest after Turkish authorities responded with shocking violence to peaceful protesters trying to save a small park in central Istanbul. A solidarity protest took place on the opening day of the Venice Biennale, and another arose at New York’s Zuccotti Park.