Expansions in Black

From The Paper Diaries 2015, by Deborah Wargon

By Malika Browne | November 25, 2015

A work by Deborah Wargon at her recent Istanbul exhibition. Photograph: Monica Fritz In a house in Balat on a quiet street just past St Mary of the Mongols, a fish is pinned to the wall above a bed. ‘My friend, the owner of this house, tells me this house...
Posted in Contemporary Art

Holiday markets abound

Spreading good cheer in Istanbul

By Emma Harper | November 22, 2015

It’s almost that time of year to deck the halls with boughs of kokina (butcher’s broom) and gaze in amazement at the ornament-adorned trees and Santa Clauses that flood Istanbul’s shopping centres each year – all in the name of celebrating the New Year, mind you. While it can be...
Posted in Fundraiser, Shopping

An afternoon lost in art…

Contemporary Istanbul 2015 in review

By Emma Harper | November 15, 2015

Disturbing headlines have dominated the news this past week, and my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of sorrow, anger and hopelessness. It can feel like too much hurt, too much grief; just too much. Yet I found some sort of relief, like so many do, in art. Visiting...
Posted in Contemporary Art

Contemporary Istanbul rolls into town

By Emma Harper | November 10, 2015

Each November in Istanbul there is a flurry of action in anticipation of Contemporary Istanbul, the region’s premier art fair. Galleries ready themselves for one of the biggest events on the Istanbul art scene, and the public eagerly anticipates opening day, when they can wander through some of the best...
Posted in Contemporary Art

Insights into the lives of others

FotoIstanbul 2015

By Emma Harper | November 3, 2015

One of the major appeals of Istanbul is that there are always art exhibitions and cultural events right at your fingertips. Yet FotoIstanbul, Istanbul’s only comprehensive photography festival, has really taken this to a new meaning, at least for me. Organised by the Beşiktaş Belediyesi, this festival is staged at...
Posted in Exhibitions, Photography

The Talat Sait Halman Translation Award

This newly-established award is open for submissions

By Emma Harper | October 30, 2015

Translators, your day in the sun has come. The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) has established the Talât Sait Halman Translation Award to be given out annually in support of outstanding translations of literary works into Turkish, including but not limited to poetry, short stories and novels. The...

More 14th Biennial highlights: Galata Greek Primary School and the Princes Islands

By Emma Harper | October 28, 2015

The 14th Istanbul Biennial is winding down just as the cooler weather rolls in. It seems somehow appropriate. On my trip to the Princes Island last week the sea air blew cold and nipped at my neck to the point where I could barely contemplate anything beyond the icy breeze....

Lynn Gilbert’s photography highlights

In a new short video Lynn discusses her trajectory as an artist and her latest exhibition

By Emma Harper | October 26, 2015

The photographer and author Lynn Gilbert has been sharing her exquisite and captivating images of Turkish homes on the Cornucopia blog over the course of the past year. Each post feels like an insider’s peek into her travels across Turkey and presents vivid, unstaged photographs of traditional Turkish interiors and...
Posted in Exhibitions, Photography

Black Week makes you ask ‘Whodunnit?’

By Emma Harper | October 21, 2015

Black Week. It sounds sinister, doesn’t it? While not exactly as evil as it sounds, this literary festival in honour of Agatha Christie (it would have been her 125th birthday on September 15) does celebrate the murders, the crimes, the twisted plots that make murder-mystery writing one of the most...
Posted in Books, Talks and Lectures

Hussein Chalayan’s foray into dance with ‘Gravity Fatigue’

By The Cornucopia Blog | October 20, 2015

A highlight of autumn entertainment in London is Hussein Chalayan’s dance production Gravity Fatigue at Sadler’s Wells. Fashion designer, filmmaker, artist and now choreographer, Chalayan is a man from whom creativity constantly flows. Born in Cyprus, he went to Central Saint Martins school of art in London and was honoured...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Design

‘Hamlet’ condensed to its core

The Tiger Lillies Perform Hamlet

By Emma Harper | October 16, 2015

Reading about The Tiger Lillies, a postmodern vaudeville musical trio known for their macabre cabaret, I'm ashamed to admit that images of clownish circus performers ran through my head. So when I walked into their performance of Hamlet at the Zorlu Performing Arts Centre last night, I was expecting camp...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts

The sweet sounds of jazz

Highlights of the Akbank Jazz Festival 2015

By Emma Harper | October 13, 2015

The 25th Akbank Jazz Festival is kicking off next week, and with it comes a flurry of concerts, workshops, seminars and children’s events. Unlike the annual IKSV Istanbul Jazz Festival, which sets up shop in the city during the quiet month of July, the Jazz Festival organised by Akbank is...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz


A film about Istanbul by Ben Hopkins

By Emma Harper | October 9, 2015

Considering the popularity of Filmekimi, it was nothing short of a miracle that I could secure a ticket to Yearning (Hasret in Turkish). Many of the festival’s film screenings are sold out within hours of tickets going on sale, to the point that extra screenings of the most popular films...
Posted in Film

Biennial 2015 highlights: Istanbul Modern and ARTER

By Emma Harper | October 6, 2015

Given the inextricable link between Istanbul and the Bosphorus, as well as the seas that lie on either side of the enduring strait, the theme of this year’s Biennial – ‘Saltwater: A Theory of Thought Forms’ – seems especially apt. Salt water and the contrasting image-forms of knots and waves...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Modern Art

Erasing Memory: A Conversation with Murat Germen

By Dayna Tellibayraktar and Peri Sharpe | September 30, 2015

Keeping up with the reshaping of Turkey is not for the faint of heart. Those who are paying attention are forced to digest the ramifications of the actions taken by a growing number of opportunists. In the midst of it all, there are a number of peaceful activists who seek...
Posted in Architecture, Exhibitions, Nature, Photography

Films galore at the 14th Filmekimi

By Emma Harper | September 28, 2015

Istanbul is gearing up for the start of another film festival season, and first on the docket is the 14th edition of Filmekimi, which runs in Istanbul from October 2 to 11. Screening critically acclaimed films fresh off the major festival circuit, Filmekimi is a cinephile’s dream. The festival, organised...
Posted in Film

Inside story: Zeki’nin Yeri

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | September 22, 2015

In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Traditional homes in Turkey exude a warmth and charm that is inviting; they are unlike any other place in the world that I've visited. Each house is an expression of its owner's creativity, which...
Posted in Architecture, Design, Photography, Travel

Turkish photography at IFSAK

By Emma Harper | September 21, 2015

The Istanbul Photography and Cinema Amateurs Association (İstanbul Fotoğraf ve Sinema Amatörleri Derneği – IFSAK) has mined its archives to organise a group exhibition featuring some of the most important names in Turkish photography. Housed in the front rooms of an elegant apartment in one of the stately older buildings...
Posted in Exhibitions, History, Photography

London’s Islamic Sales, Autumn 2015

By Emma Harper | September 16, 2015

For devotees of Islamic art, there is much to look forward to this autumn. Over the next few months the major auction houses in London will stage their biannual Islamic art sales, and a quick glance through the catalogues illustrates the many superb works on offer. We wanted to give...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art

Inside story: Bodrum

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | September 14, 2015

In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Bodrum, located in southwestern Turkey, is a beautiful, charming seaside resort. But it is also a place full of history. Going back to ancient times, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – an ancient Greek city...
Posted in Architecture, Design, History, Photography, Travel
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