Thursday, 20 March 2014

Istanbul 0216-0212 Diary-02

Thursday 20 March 2014 - Back to the UK. Plans were changed due to circumstances beyond our control. The morning of my arrival, Tuesday 11 March, a 15 year old named Berkin Elvan had passes away after more than 200 days in a coma. He was hit by a gas canister while buying bread for 1TL during the period of the Gezi Park protests:
Clashes in Istanbul after funeral of young Gezi victim Berkin Elvan:

Never the less we have an exhibition up and running at the time of typing, media coverage has been generated and sales made.
Some media links: Avrupa Gazete:
Ned Pamphilon’dan İstanbul Tutkunlarına Özel Sergi: 0216 Istanbul:
Sanat İstanbul İçin Sergisi kokteyli 19 Mart'a ertelendi!
Yeni Projeler:

Last Thursday 13 March 2014, I had an interview with Yeni Şafak newspaper. Different Turks will have different views about this paper. We're doing art and can meet any of them. Met at Eninönü (try saying that you Brits! OK, I'll help... em-in-oo-noo), took ferry back across Bosphorus to Kadıköy and had interview and photos along the way. The photo stuff is fun, but often, for all the snaps taken, and I saw some in the camera viewer that looked OK, the editorial will pick a naff one and I'll look a prick. It's how it is; I guess we'll see. May be they'll pick a photo that makes me look good! Funny game isn't it.... it resulted in this:

A press conference scheduled for 16.00hr Wednesday 12 March was cancelled and the 'official' exhibition opening cocktail planned for that evening, postponed till Wednesday 19 March, out of respect for Berkin Elvan.
There are numerous deaths reported everyday in Iraq, to often little media reaction. Suddenly, one death in Turkey generated enormous national outcry and protestation. 

I stayed just off Bağdat Caddesi; Bagdad Street in English, on the Asian side. I had olives most days for breakfast. Love 'em. I see stuff everyday to paint. They are building a new 3rd Bosphorus Bridge. Currently, there's a leg in the sea water either side. This city and country never cease to amaze me. Things do not always happen as planned and it helps to be prepared to go with the flow. I've delivered a collection of paintings and others are organising everything. It's different for me to let go and not be determining all the details. Bloody Arsenal though. They lost at Bayern the night of my arrival and were kicked out of the Champion's league. What a bummer. Ah, next year!
So, Wednesday 19 March we had the 'official' kokteyl. No alcohol was served due to being in a more conservative part of town. Funnily enough, it was like this for my last exhibition in Istanbul 2008 and now the same for my first return exhibition in 6 years.

During the last week Prime Minister Erdoğan, while addressing a rally of supporters, apparently made reference to marbles and a catapult found in Berkin's pocket. Erdoğan linked this to terrorist contacts and manipulated the crowd to respond and boo the grieving mother's name.
On my return to the UK, I read that Erdoğan had tried to close down Twitter, inadvertently encouraging even more Turks to use the social media tool.
Global outcry over Turkey’s Twitter ban:
'Keep calm and change your DNS,' Turkish tweeps' answer to Erdoğan's 'yes we ban':
Who blocked Twitter in Turkey?

I also arrived back to find a copy of Minerva magazine:

Friday 22 March 20014 - I received a few Tweets mentioning my hash tag. It seemed something to do with The People's Voice:
I caught the tail end of the Art Show featuring a few images of my Istanbul paintings:
Independent artists and their work: The Grandees are on a sketch-comedy troupe from London discussing there work. Leona talks again on the importance of creativity and work from Ned Pamphilon.

I really like this station. Short of money and they make mistakes, but the information on science, health, current affairs reporting etc... puts the BBC to absolute shame in my view. And they are growing...
TPV attracts 6 million views, and counting: