Emre Gönlügür

Getty Global Affiliated Fellow
8 gennaio–5 luglio 2024
Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Izmir University of Economics
Titolo del progetto
Blue Anatolia: The Classical Heritage and Modern Imagination in Mid-Century Turkey
Descrizione del progetto

My project aims to develop a revisionist reading of the Blue Anatolia (Mavi Anadolu) debate, an artistic and intellectual movement that developed in Turkey during the 1950s and 1960s. The movement brought together intellectuals, writers, poets, artists, and architects who embarked on a reinterpretation of the cultural heritage of classical antiquity as a humanistic basis for cultivating a geographically and multiculturally rooted Turkish national identity. Central to the movement was the so-called Blue Voyage (Mavi Yolculuk), a week-long boat trip along Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coastline. This was an annual ritual, a cultural pilgrimage of sorts, whereby participants paid visits to ancient sites, some of which were accessible only by boat, and engaged in lively intellectual discussions and poetry readings on board. Drawing on the work of writers, artists, and architects involved in the movement, I argue that the aesthetic project of Blue Anatolianism called for an enlarged conception of cultural heritage and public memory, one that was anchored in geography and the classical past.