Reality and imagination blur in our images of Istanbul. Breathtaking panoramas seem to open up views of the entire city, which appears as a whole that encompasses space and time. However, those who immerse themselves into the pulsating metropolis with its nearly 15 million inhabitants soon realize that Istanbul cannot be fully grasped or represented in its entirety. With every step there is a layering of traces of wide-ranging historical eras, which impacts on the present.
History Takes Place: Istanbul seeks to open up a new perspective on Istanbul, not through narrative or typical images of East and West, but through a series of spontaneous shots. Contributions by young academics from various disciplines—history, cultural and social sciences, as well as geography, architecture, and urban planning—address contested histories and memories, experiences of home and exile, or of exclusion and resistance in the public sphere. The reader is invited to rethink the relationship between the “historical past” and the “ethnographic present” and at the same time to see how “history” is always in the making in Istanbul.