“The Istanbul I moved here for is gone”
Today I gave a guest lecture in the course, Postcolonial Europe at Utrecht University, led by Dr. Gianmaria Colpani and Dr. Layal Ftouni. It was a great session because it was the first time I shared any of my preliminary findings from my Istanbul fieldwork. This is the second time I’ve been asked to contribute my recent work to this exciting course and I hope it becomes a tradition. The above quote is taken from one of the interviews I did with a young woman artist in Cihangir who is moving back to the Netherlands after having moved there in the period of hope around the Gezi Park protests in 2013.
I talked about it and its context to discuss the kinds of media representations of Istanbul that had shaped my respondents’ inspirations to move to to the city. This respondent has since decided to move back to the Netherlands, feeling that after a “coup” attempt, multiple terrorist attacks, and the April 2017 referendum outcome, her hope had been drained. So in the lecture, we discussed how to think about the contemporary media and migration circulation between the Netherlands and Istanbul and its affective dimensions and layers.