Luca Orlandi and Velika Ivkovska, The Architectural Heritage in Galata: A Case of Vanishing Memory in Istanbul

By |2022-03-07T20:43:29+00:00March 7th, 2022|Visual Reflections|

Throughout the centuries the Galata district in Istanbul has been a unique crossroad of multicultural both tangible and intangible heritage. Unfortunately, during the past sixty/seventy years the district was and still is at a constant attack and at risk of disappearing due to its neglect and lack of enhancement especially within the growth of the 21st century Istanbul’s metropolis. Since the ancient times Galata, which is today a neighborhood within the Beyoğlu Municipality, maintained a distinctive character in the city’s physiognomy, due to social and cultural contribution of its inhabitants and people who lived there, forming a unique urban environment throughout the centuries. During the Byzantine Empire, with the establishment of the Genoese colony, Galata district, or Pera as it was also known in ancient Greek and Roman time, grew as a more ‘Italian’ and Latin city inside the core of the oriental Orthodox world, building up a unique architectural environment within an urban texture adapted to the morphology and the orology of the territory, linked to the surrounding hills and to the sea, completely different and independent from the [...]

David Do Paço, Art History and Social history: Muslims in Early Modern Central Europe

By |2022-03-07T20:35:02+00:00March 7th, 2022|Visual Reflections|

Social history and art history are still often hermetic to each other. Their respective methods, the nature of the documents that scholars consider, and academic territories diverged, if not clashed. Nevertheless, several recent works from early modern urban historians have strongly advocated for an inclusive approach. For example, Melissa Calaresu reinterpreted eighteenth-century Neapolitan sociability with a micro-historical methodology at the intersection of social history, art history, and archaeology. On the other hand, Nancy Um has implemented an original approach at the intersection between economic history and history of architecture. She explored the coffee merchants’ houses in the Yemeni city of Mocha to understand the anthropological structures of the port city at a time when it was the hub between the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, and Africa. As early as 2011, the collective project directed by Jocelyne Dakhlia—which already aimed to reassess the Muslim’s social life in early modern Europe—invited to go beyond the illustrative use of pictures by social historians. Dakhlia drafted new working hypotheses based on what the artists perceived and revealed, but that was ignored by the traditional materials [...]