- What’s On
An opportunity to revist Cornucopia’s memorable cover story in Cornucopia 55: “The Characters of Yusuf Franko: An Ottoman Bureaucrat’s Caricatures” exhibition was staged by Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) in January 2017. The exhibition displayed for the first time the caricatures of Yusuf Franko Kusa (1856–1933), a high-ranking bureaucrat in Ottoman administration. An unique album that he had compiled of his drawings revealed a witty observer of Periote high-society; his “characters” includedbureaucrats, ambassadors, famous actors and painters. You can still buy the magnificent two-volume publication from Cornucopia; a facsimile of the album and commentary.
In this event, Özge Ertem will summarise the background of the exhibition and the book and will outline the main themes and questions the book raises. Mehmet Kentel will talk about Yusuf Franko’s Pera, the social and spatial contours of the world his characters occupied in the high streets, embassy salons, restaurants and gardens, as well as the notable absentees.
K. Mehmet Kentel received his PhD from the University of Washington in 2018 with his dissertation “Assembling ‘Cosmopolitan’ Pera: An Infrastructural History of Late Ottoman Istanbul,” which he is currently revising for publication as a monograph. He is the Research Projects Manager at the Istanbul Research Institute and the managing editor of YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies. In 2019 he curated Memories of Humankind: Stories from the Ottoman Manuscripts at the Istanbul Research Institute.
Özge Ertem received her PhD at the European University Institute’s History and Civilization Department (Florence, 2012). She is the co-editor of Ottoman Arcadia: The Hamidian Expedition to the Land of Tribal Roots (1886) (2018) and Yusuf Bey: On Dokuzuncu Yüzyıl Sonunda Pera’nın Yüklü Portreleri [Youssouf Bey: The Charged Portraits of Fin-de-Siécle Pera] (2017, 2021). Currently, she is coordinating a programme entitled Transformative Activism and Curious Steps: Gender and Memory Walks of Istanbul at the Sabancı University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Center of Excellence (SU Gender).