8GÜLISTAN by Lukas Birk and Natasha Christia
Fraglich Publishing 2019
Edition of 300
10 x 15cm
GÜLISTAN brings us the story of Kenan & Filiz, two residents of Istanbul celebrating their lives through the cities finest establishments in the 1960s and 70s. These establishments offered foto servisi and presented the images to their cliental in fashionable envelopes. GÜLISTAN offers a subtle resistance to the currently conservative forces in Turkey, illustrating a time of Westwards thinking in the capital. As well as a unique insight into the bustling world of yesterdays Istanbul and a very peculiar photographic culture very much part of every families archive.
In October 2018, during my first visit to Istanbul after sixteen years, I recollected at Feriköy Bitpazari a set of five restaurant cards. Their protagonists were a couple who were celebrating their nights in 1960s-1970s Istanbul’s finest restaurants, gazinos and tavernas. These establishments offered foto servisi and presented the images to their cliental in fashionable envelopes. Along with collector, artist and publisher Lukas Birk, we acquired the rest of the archive and decided to honour its protagonists in this publication.
Recreated as a facsimile piece of a series of restaurant cards and photographs, GÜLISTAN is a fictional narrative about Kenan & Filiz. Alongside with their story, it provides a humble albeit unique record insight into the bustling world of yesterday’s Istanbul and a very peculiar photographic culture very much part of every families archive, while at the same time it illustrates a time of Westwards thinking in the capital.
Book available here