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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Sharpening the Haze: Visual Essays on Imperial History and Memory
Editor , Carabelli Giulia; , Jovanovic Milos; , Walton Jeremy; , Kirbis Annika
Publisher Ubiquity Press, London
Page(s) 43 - 56
ISBN 978-1-911529-66-8
Title of proceedings Sharpening the Haze: Visual Essays on Imperial History and Memory
DOI 10.5334/bcd.c

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Why would I feel at home walking down Istanbul's 19th century boulevard İstiklal Caddesi the first time I visited the metropolis on the Bosphorus? Why would it remind me so much of Belgrade's Knez Mihailo Street? A large research project at the University of Basel, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, provided me the unique opportunity to study the above, quite personal questions, and many more, through an innovative visual approach. Focusing on four cities in two Ottoman successor states founded after World War I, the Republic of Turkey and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the project explored how once Ottoman urban societies changed in the decades after the dissolution of the Empire. Presenting our results to a larger audience by way of a travelling exhibition, our team put the visitors to the test and confronted them with enlarged black-and-white, digitally sharpened photographic reproductions arranged as urban spaces and activities rather than distinguishable cities. Introducing a few pictures of the said exhibition, this piece discusses the chances and challenges of narrating history visually.