Monday, December 10, 2007

In White and Black

Istanbul... Istanbul... Istanbul...

A very old city with its history of thousands of years reaching back to 7th century BC. It has been the capital of two large empires, and has seen numerous emperors and sultans pass. Istanbul has become negligent after the disasters, victories, disappointments and excitement it has experienced that it would travel with Ara Guler's eyes if it were a photographer.

A Turkish photojournalist of Armenian descent, nicknamed ''The Eye of Istanbul'' or ''The Photographer of Istanbul'', holding France award Légion d' honneur, Ara Guler.

A few lines about him: Ara Guler travelled to all corners of the world and all parts of Turkey. The world's most famous publishers have featured his photographs. In the 1970's he held photographic interviews with such important personalities as Winston Churchill, Indira Gandhi, Maria Callas, John Berger, Bertrand Russell, Willy Brandt, Alfred Hitchcock, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunnigham, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

As far as his philosophy, Guler attaches the greatest importance to human presence in his photographs and describe himself as a ''visual historian''. According to him, photography should provide a memory of people, of their lives and especially their suffering. While he considers that art lies, photography to him can only reflect reality. He does not consider photography as an art. Ara Guler is one of my numero uno photographers, as he's really an intellectual beyond being a photographer, that I enjoy his exhibitions very much!

Roma celebra con una mostra al Museo dell' Ara Pacis, lungotevere in Augusta il piu grande fotografo turco vivente, che blocca nelle sue immagini in bianco e nero una Istambul sofferente, da ''cronista'' come lui stesso ama definirsi.

Ara Guler presents his photographic works called ''L'altra Istanbul'' (English: The Other Istanbul - Turkish: Istanbul'un Diger Yuzu) for the first time in Rome, Italy, as stated above. The exhibiton also features works of four other Turkish photographers who join Guler in a group show dedicated to portraying Turkey's role in Mediterranean culture. Read the news here.

Above photo by Ara Guler, -an older photo than me:)- shows Istanbul in year 1956, while tram and cart running on a snowy day in Galatasaray Avenue to Sirkeci. All the works in display are only 'white and black' like this photograph.

Do not miss out if you still have not been to Istanbul! Even if you have been to Istanbul, you should visit this exhibition because you will find it very interesting and extraordinary The Other Istanbul. No matter how but I think it is an opportunity for a better intercultural dialogue among the countries.

Senz' altro c'é solo una Istanbul!
~ There's only one Istanbul! ~


  1. It must be a wonderful exhibit. I particularly like black and white photography and photography that shows history.


  2. Thanks for introducing this photographer and for introducing his view that photography (for him) is not art. That last line (There is only one Istanbul) - is that a quotation?

  3. @ Hyderabad: Yeap, a quotation by Nihal;) LOL:)) Although the name of the exhibition as The Other Istanbul, I wanted to underline in the end of my article that there's only one Istanbul with its yesterday and today, with its past and present to the day.

  4. Thank you for the peek into life in Istanbul. You live a long, long ways away. It still amazes me that we can communicate like this.

  5. @Rick: Welcome to Istanbul;) I'd be happier if I can help you all my readers to provide a gateway for Istanbul life that's quite much like mosaic:) Yeap, it's nice to hear voices from different perspectives by people which also amazes me. It's been a good decision for me so I've got a new 'window' opening into the world, my journal:)