« Istanbul. City portrait » – Università Iuav di Venezia – 29/02/2012

Within the cycle of International Conferences ‘City Portraits’, organized by the School of Doctorate Studies, Università Iuav di Venezia, on February 29th – March 1st 2012 it will be held one about the city of Istanbul. The goal of the International Conference is to provide a wide range of point of view in order to investigate the current transformations of the city and to attempt a better understanding of its coming evolutions based on an interdisciplinary approach, which ranges from the urban planning, historical and contemporary architectural issues to arts, design and cultural policies. PhD candidates and young researcher (under 40 years old at the time the conference will be held), who have developed original studies or projects on specific case‐studies linked with one or more of the following three sessions, are invited to submit their contributions.

1. City & Architecture

Istanbul is one of the world’s largest city and one of the oldest. It has deep roots in its glorious past and it’s trying to look at to its future after the transformations in the 80’s along with the globalization process that picked up speed bringing with it deep change in the urban and architectural context. The goal of this session is to provide a critical point of view on the city of Istanbul through the following main issues:

‐ the role of Mimar Sinan and his works in shaping Istanbul;
‐ the tight relationship between foreign architects/urban planners and the transformations occurred in the city after the declaration of the Republic of Turkey in 1923;
‐ issues linked with the contemporary architecture debate considering that the city is still suffering because of a very quick development occurred in the last decades.

2. City & Society

During the 80s, Istanbul begins to reveal new regimes of regulation for these governments that created new financial sources, allowed the opening for a stock exchange market and creating a new metropolitan government, that transformed the city into a competitive global city region. New wealth engendered new social groups, while traditional wealthy groups (public sector professions like teachers, writers, bureaucrats and trade unionists) experienced an identity crisis and loss of public confidence. This new sense of ownership of new groups (symbolical and material) is today clearly mirrored by spatial polarization of poverty increasingly suburbanized (which its especially migrants), but even displayed by more soft and intangible forms of alienation and marginalization challenging the issue of citizenship. By exploring critically the image of the “globalizing Istanbul”, the session encourage papers that focus on a range of social practices in the city of Istanbul trough which citizenship is enacted “anew” and will consider implications of such enactments for understanding organization of local welfare, highlighting relational aspects of citizenship that lead to positive or negative consequences for civil society.

3. City & Culture

A great impulse for Istanbul’s growing role as a cultural, political and economic arena is due to its candidature as European Capital of Culture in 2010. In this respect, this session highlights the rapid development of the arts and design scene and the blossoming of museums and cultural institutions (such as galleries, libraries and archives) dedicated to contemporary arts, which are closely linked with a rethinking of the dynamics and interrelations with the urban environment and its citizens. Therefore, what are the connections between the cultural production of today and the so called creative industries (especially the design and film industries)? How is the city represented and questioned through visual arts (photography, new media, graphics design)? How is the image of the city communicated?

The curators
Teresita Scalco
Moira Valeri
Marco Vani

Info : istanbulcityportrait@gmail.com

Links :
Call for proposal
Università Iuav di Venezia website 


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