Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A view from Istanbul during the #TurkeyCoupAttempt

Glancing at the to-do list on my desk that I’d scribbled just hours before, the scrap of paper seemed to have appeared from some alternate universe too banal to be believed.

Set alarm for 6 a.m. Take out the trash when I go out for an early-morning run. Bring some money to buy fruit for breakfast on the way home.

Cowering on the entryway floor at 3 a.m. as jets roared past, their sonic booms shaking the building and threatening to break the windows, hadn’t been part of the plan....

As shots rang out outside my window and concerned messages pinged in from friends and family around the world, my editor at CityLab, The Atlantic's website on urban issues, asked me if I'd like to write something about my personal experience of being in Istanbul during what turned out to be a failed military coup.

Read the rest of that essay, "Istanbul, the Day After," on CityLab.

For more on the politics of the coup attempt, its aftermath, and its possible ramifications, here are some news, analysis, and commentary pieces I think are worth a read:

Friday, July 15, 2016

A photographic journey to Turkey

It was a provocative idea for Istanbul-based curator Özge Ersoy to pose to a group of young photographers. “We’re not saying people should stop producing images,” she explained, “but that how and why they produce images should be questioned.”

Encountering new ideas and challenging their own preconceptions was exactly what had brought the six image-makers to Turkey as part of the latest Jameel Journey. This series of collaborative initiatives aims to broaden the horizons of young artists from the Gulf region through work and travel in other countries...

In May, I joined these six young artists as they met with Ersoy and her colleague Bikem Ekberzade at Istanbul gallery Collectorspace, an early stop on their 11-day journey exploring issues of migration and identity through photography. I also interviewed Imogen Ware, managing director of the U.K.-based charity Crossway Foundation, which organised the trip in partnership with Art Jameel.

My piece on this innovative artistic exchange appears in the July/August issue of Selections, a Beirut-based magazine focused on art, culture, design, and style.


Read the rest of my article, "Migration and Identity in Focus," on Selections' website.