|Beyza Altunç |
Ministry of Culture and Tourism
What is the Role of the State in the Audio-visual Heritage?
The preservation and the protection of the films which are one of the most important products for the formation of the visiual memory and one of the greatest pieces of cultural heritage are important. The films enlight the social, cultural, economic and political constructions of at the time of filming period and thus contain a lot of information.The films should be considered as a cultural heritage with the information they contain and their artistic aspects also should be well preserved and hand them down to next generations. The preservation and the protection of the films are one of the main duties of General Directorate of Cinema of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It was established in 1977 as the General Directorate of Fine Arts and in 2011 it was reorganized as the General Directorate of Cinema.In Turkey for now only a few private production companies carry out operations on the field of protecting recently recognized film heritage and digitally storing and restoring the pellicle films to hand them down to next generations. With a short presentation, we will try to answer questions such as "What is the role of the state in this issue?", "What kind of activities are the Ministry of Culture and Tourism providing for the preservation of the cinema heritage"”
Restoration of Old Turkish Movies
Fanatik Film bünyesinde çalışan restorasyon ekibi görüntü ve se kalitesi kötü durumda olan eski Türk filmlerini üzerinde kare, kare çalışarak HD formatında sinemamıza kazandırıyor. 35 mm kopyası bulunan filmler dijital ortama aktarıldıktan sonra Avrupa menşeili bir yazılım kullanılarak temizleniyor. Filmlerin ses kayıtları da aynı şekilde temizleme işleminden geçiyor. Burada ekranda örnekleriyle yapılan işlem hakkında bilgi sunuyorum.
Böylelikle yok olma durumunda olan klasikleşmiş filmler günümüz yayın formatında yenilenmiş oluyor. Türk sinemasının 1914’den bu yana ürettiği 6000 civarı filmin maalesef bir kısmının görüntüsüne ulaşamamış durumdayız. Bu filmler zamanında ya doğru bir şekilde arşivlenmemiş, arşivlenmesine önem verilmemiş ya da kapanan şirketler, kapanan sinema salonları sonrasında ortadan yok olmuş.
Bu yaptığımız çalışma sonucu restore ettiğimiz filmler arasında bulunan Ömer Kavur’un başyapıtlarından Anayurt Oteli restore edilmiş kopyasıyla Haziran 2017’de sinema salonlarında da kendine yer buldu. Bu filmin tekrardan vizyon şansı bulması ve seyirciden ilgi görmesi bile bu filmlerin restore edilmesinin ne kadar önemli olduğunun bir göstergesi. Sinemamızın hafızası için ulaşabildiğimiz kadar eski filme ulaşmalı ve bu filmlerin kopyalarını restore etmeliyiz. Bu ülkemizin kültür varlığı için de birinci derecede önem taşıyor.
Bahçeşehir University, Faculty of Communication
The Earliest Filmmaker of the Ottoman Empire:The Story of a Quest
At the core of the beginnings of cinema in Turkey, we have many stories rather than the facts. This is understable given the context of the beginnings of cinema in Turkey. The earliest films made in Istanbul arrived at a time when a multi-lingual, multi-confessional, and multi-cultural empire was dissolving into and giving way to a unitary nation-state. This backdrop also informed the discussions about the first filmmaker because of competing identity claims related to these transformations.
Even today, we are faced with varying questions with regard to these issues. Should one locate the first filmmaker question in relation to the Ottoman Empire or Turkey? Is there a continuity between the two or should one separate the two? Should we make a choice among different filmmakers based on their identities? If Manaki Brothers are the first Ottoman filmmakers (since they were Ottoman citizens), should we date the beginning of cinema to an earlier date than 1914? Or should we pick the proper Muslim and Turkish candidate, Fuat Uzkınay, as the first filmmaker? Or should we give a new answer to this question?
In this presentation, I will try to introduce Sigmund Weinberg at the core of these questions. While the life story of Sigmund Weinberg started elsewhere, it came to full fruition at the heart and capital of the Ottoman Empire and continued well into the Turkish Republic. Weinberg was an Istanbul entrepreneur, photographer, filmmaker, film theater owner, and the representative of Lumiere, Pathe, and probably Gaumont, as well as His Master’s Voice and other companies. But perhaps more importantly he was the first filmmaker or was he not?
Kadir Has University, Faculty of Communication
“Turkish Film Studies Conference” 1998-2017
The conference has been organized in 1998 in Bilgi University as a result of the flourishing New Turkish Cinema. There was a need for a niché for young academics to share their reflection on the new films and at the same to present their researchs on Yeşilçam and films before. The conference has found an immense feed-back in several film and television departments, among film scholars, scriptwriters, directors and producers as well as sound designers and cinematographers. The conference has taken place till 2001 in Bilgi University then moved the organization to Bahçeşehir University and had as its venue The French Cultural University and then lastly since 2006 Kadir Has University has hosted and supported the event.
Goethe Institute, British Cultural Institute, Italian Cultural Institute, French Cultural Institute, American Consulate, Turkish National Commission for Unesco and were among the institutions that supported and cooperated. As a tradition the conference invited each year a keynote speaker; among them Laura Mulvey, Dudley Andrew, John Hill, Dina Iordanova, Robert Burgoyne, Nevena Dakovic, Ella Shohat have contributed to the topic of the conference.
Since the beginning Bağlam Publishing House and then later Cambridge Scholars Publishing realized the publication of the editions and volumes.
The themes of the conference varied from history, to spectator, from reality to fantasy, from literature to newer media.
Each year by the end of the conference new topics are discussed and studied carefully in our program committees and the whole organization is realized by the staff of the Film and Television Department.
My presentation will be a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the whole conference. Fact and numbers, themes, topics and discussion fields and the approaches in film analyses, the evaluation of the conference and the participants in time. The core question will be: Did the conference reach its goal to be the niche for young academicians and scholars to continue their researches in these fields? Has the conference after 19 years reached an archival value?
UTMK Communication Committee
Archiving in the Media
The archive is vital for the media. Because the media fed with news, information and visual products. For this reason, newspapers, radios and televisions needs news, photographs, sound recordings and videos that have been published before. The most important archival material for the newspapers is photographs. When the newspapers printed in linotype prints, plates were prepared for the photographs. They archived the plates as well as the photographs. Because it was an extra expense to make plates every time. There were not a large archive of newspapers since newspaper buildings were too small. For this reason, photojournalists kept their personal archives by storing their photographic films with simple notes.
Nowadays, newspapers are being digitally prepared and published on the Internet as well as printed products. Therefore, it is possible to reach archive of almost every newspaper. Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, such as the long-established newspapers are digitized in the archives of the old editions. Audio and video archives are also important for the mass media. In the past, archiving discs, sound recordings and videotapes was difficult and burdensome.
Digitization has greatly facilitated the storage of radio and television archives.In this paper, archival activities in the media sector will be discussed from the past to the present.
Digitalizing Turkish Cinema Heritage: www.tsa.org.tr
Cinematic heritage includes not only the films but also all the materials about the films, such as film scripts, film posters, photographs, news, interviews about films, articles, books, theses on films, and so on. Transferring films into digital to prevent their loss is crucial, however, it is not enough for preserving cinematic heritage.
In Turkey, some of the private and governmental institutions have been trying to digitalize and restore the old Turkish films. As a contribution to all these efforts, İstanbul Şehir University and Foundation for Sciences and Arts with the support of İstanbul Development Agency established the Center for Turkish Cinema Studies (TSA) in order to archive and digitalize all types of materials about Turkish cinema heritage which cannot be limited to the Republican Era. TSA Archive Database includes also the cinematic materials from the Ottoman Era, such as the first film magazines published in Ottoman Turkish and French. All those periodicals scanned and selected articles either translated or Latinized.
In order to gather visual, audio and written materials related to Turkish cinema, the State Archives of the Prime Ministry, the IRCICA Library, The German Archaeological Institute Archive, the Salt Archive, the Kızılay Archive, the Grand National Assembly Archive as well as state library archives and various private archives were scoured.
The aim of the first stage of TSA Archive Database was to form a database which contains all the materials representing Turkish cinema heritage. In this first stage of the TSA Archive Database 7.796 films, 1.315 interviews, 45.236 people, 6.395 articles, 1335 books, 563 theses, 285 magazines, and 40.000 images obtained and archived on www.tsa.org.tr.
The second stage of TSA Archive Database aims at translating the main materials of Turkish Cinema heritage into English. In other words, speaking in English all about Turkish Cinema has been the main scope of this second stage. Currently, TSA provides reliable, academic, and comprehensive updated resource on Turkish cinema for local and global cinema scholars.
This paper aims at introducing the main steps within the TSA Archive Database and also exploring the original materials on this database.
University of Arts, Belgrade
The construction of the TV heritage:TV Programs and Shows as Cultural Memory
The aim of this paper is to outline the notion of televisual as cultural/European audio visual heritage i.e. the ways televisual text participate in, contribute to and „constitute shared source of remembrance, understanding, identity, cohesion and creativity”. I would like to demonstrate the ways televisual narrative create the sense of Balkan identity and as what kind of identity based upon common history, cultural memory and past. As the case study is chosen Turkish prime time soap The Magnificent Century, while the paper examines the constituted common identity built through intertwining of the Balkan and Ottoman identities; built along the genre readings of the series as melodrama/soap opera or historical fiction/epic past. The conclusion points toward dominance of the reading as melodrama as the only way of overcoming the dissonant narratives of the past, historical controversies and ethnic differentiation “us and other”.
About half of it theorises the Tv and heritage and the other half is the analysis of the interpretations and readings of MC after the newspaper articles published about the phenomenon.
Mithat Alam Film Center
Making-of Cinema in Turkey: Visual Memory Project
The Cinema industry in Turkey lived its most prolific years between 1950 and 1980. During this period, the producers received requests from movie theater owners to produce movies based on audiences’ preferences, the most favorite genres and the most admired movie stars. Maximizing commercial profit (producing one feature-film almost every week) was the driving force in the industry. The artistic achievement is of secondary importance. The producers were the only and absolute owners of the films. This production system resulted in longer work hours, frequent abuse of labor rights and workplace accidents. And on top it all, it was controlled by institutional censorship… Apart from the producers, favorite directors and movie starts, there are only very few names remained to be remembered today in people’s memories. Except some individual efforts by a few curious and ambitious collectors to retain several documents and films from those years, unfortunately, there has not been a comprehensive documentation of the most productive years of the cinema in Turkey. So much so that some of the films produced in this period have been missing and it is very difficult to reach the real numbers and accurate information about films that was done in this period. Fortunately, there is still a significant number of people who worked during those prolific years and carry the memory…
Therefore, we started an oral history study in 2005 as the Boğaziçi University Mithat Alam Film Center in the name of the Visual Memory Project on Cinema in Turkey. Within the scope of this project, we have already interviewed 70 cineastes until today. In addition to directors, producers and actors/actresses, 16 of them were laborers, including light chefs, cameramen, editors, sound technician, poster designers, movie theater employees, set workers. Unfortunately, we are having difficulty reaching out to people other than the director, producer and “stars”. Since the 80s, when cinema industry collapsed due to economic (television and video production started) and political reasons, many of cineastes have moved to other sectors and broke out their ties with the cinema industry. The project also aims to give visibility to the women workers. But unfortunately, except the actresses, it’s really difficult even to reach women workers’ names. Many of the women who worked on this milieu were discouraged by pay inequality and mobbing; or quit this profession after marriage. The project also highlighted the labor and presence of Greek and Armenian people in early filmmaking in Turkey. Most of the Greek filmmakers have migrated for reasons such as migrant exchange between Greece and Turkey on 1923, assaults in 6-7 September 1955, 1964 deportation and Cyprus issues. Armenian filmmakers tried to continue their existence on cinema by changing their names because of the discrimination and hate crimes. All these facts made it further difficult to reach out many individuals who witnessed those historic years.
In brief, Visual Memory Project try to verify generics of the films and filmographies of the cineastes at first hand; and document this most prolific but mostly undocumented period of cinema in Turkey. Son on my presentation, I would like to talk about our experience during this Project.
Turkish National Commission for UNESCO
Unesco Memory of the World Programme:Memory of the World International Register and Nomination Process
The whole of documentary heritage produced from past to now, from papyrus scrolls or clay tablets to film, sound recordings or digital files, constitute the collected memory of the people. These documentary heritage reflects the history and life of humanity. With the objectives to facilitate preservation of the world's documentary heritage, to assist universal access to documentary heritage and to increase awareness worldwide of the significance of documentary heritage; Memory of the World Programme was established in 1992 under the auscipes of Communication and Information sector, which is one of the five sectors of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
In this study, it is aimed to explain the basic assumptions and processes within the context of UNESCO Memory of the World Programme and nomination process for the Memory of the World International Register. In addition, the normative instruments such as Charter, Declaration and Recommendation relating to the Memory of the World are evaluated. Moreover, registered heritages of Turkey in the Memory of the World International Register are examined.
The main objectives of the study are to raise awareness on the issues of the importance of preservation and access to the documentary heritage; to help to select the potential documentary heritages to nominate to be inscribed on the Memory of the World International Register for the next nomination cycles; and to provide a source to be applied on the process of preparing nomination for the documentary heritages to be inscribed on the Memory of the World International Register.
In the study, literature review and content analysis are used as the method. The mission, objectives, and the function of the Memory of the World Programme are evaluated and some recommendations are given.
Yaşar University, Faculty of Communication
Playing the Archaeologist: Among the Dusts of Yıldız Cinema (Izmir)
The mid-1980s call for a new film history beyond the history of films, and their a-historical textual interpretation found many proponents in academic circles in North America, Australia, and Europe. From the late 1990s to the present, a considerable quantity of empirically based historical research on previously undermined aspects of cinema, including cinemas, film exhibition, cinema-going, and reception, have demonstrated that cinema is a complex social phenomenon. Today, new cinema history studies has reached a level of maturity in North America, Australia and Europe that scholars have started to call for more systematic comparative research in the field beyond “monocentric” studies that focus on film exhibition and audience experiences in particular cities, neighborhoods or venues. Even the most “monocentric” form of new cinema history’s perspective, however, is still in development in Turkey, if not totally absent.
Inspired by new cinema history, I have been carrying research on old cinemas of and the culture of movie-going in Izmir (the third largest city in Turkey after Istanbul and Ankara) since 2013. From the 1950s to the mid-1970s, Izmir developed a vibrant cinema culture with its numerous winter and summer cinemas that exhibited a rich variety of films from American epics to Italian action adventures to local melodramas. None of those cinemas exists today. While the expansion of television and video and the economic crises in the film industry forced them to close beginning in the late 1980s, apartment blocks, shopping centers or astro pitches replaced their buildings during subsequent urban transformations. My research on old cinemas of Izmir is an atempt to reconstruct the history of those “lost” cinemas and the vivid cinema culture they were once home to. This atttempt could also be seen as a contribution to social and urban memory. This, however, is not an easy task in a geography which has been constantly suffering from the problems and politics of archives (i.e., the lack of corporate or official interest in archiving, the deterioration and destruction of archives, the temporary closings of archival institutions, and the inaccessibility of some archives because of their inadequate cataloguing systems). In this paper, I will discuss my field experience at the old and tired building and among the almost ruined collections of Yıldız (Star) Cinema –one of the largest and most popular cinemas of the city from 1953 to 1988, which is currently used as an astro pitch, billard and ping-pong hall. Based on my personal experience, I will attempt to highlight and open to debate some of the major difficulties and challenges of researching and reconstructing cinema history in Turkey.
Ali Sait Liman
Uludağ University, Bursa, Faculty of Fine Arts
Cinema in Gaziantep (1923-1975)
Cinema as an art and as means of socialization, has taken an important place in the cultural life of nations and societes from past to present. Shortly after its invention, cinema has come to our counrty and due to the proclamation of the republic and reforms in big cities that developes parallel to the proclamation, cinema has spread widely first in big cities and then in little towns and has reached over wide-ranging audience. In this process, one of the most important phenomena that attracts attention is that, people has adopted this innovation as soon as possible and given the Turkish cinema the economic support it needs. One example that comes to mind in this sense is the dominant cinema adventure in Gaziantep.
Starting with the first movie theatre opening in 1923 in Gaziantep and extending up to mid 1970s, the development and expansion of city’s cinema culture has been a significant progress.
In this study, the cinema phenomenon in Gaziantep has been examined within the context of its effects in city’s cultural texture and cinema-audience interaciton. In addition the films shot in Gaziantep are also dwelled on. The adventure of cinema in Gaziantep has been examined with interviews that are held on the matters and the phases of the process of Turkish Cinema History is compared with the period of cultural revival in the province and its effects on social life of Gaziantep through witnesses.
As a result, the beginning and the development of cinema in Gaziantep has the same periods as the History of Turkish Cinema and they both carry the same development phases thgrough years. Both written sources, as well as information received from witnesses of the phenomenon of cinema in Gaziantep on the subject, supports this judgement.
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, İstanbul
Prof. Sami Şekeroğlu Film and Television Centre
Preserving Turkish National Cinema Heritage:A 55-Year-Long History And Beyond...
In the 1960s, Turkish filmmakers shot their films under challenging conditions and on a tight budget and stored them in their own offices or under the stairs or in the basement of the inns they worked at. Since the technology at that time could not create revenue generating opportunities other than allowing to show films at movie theaters, some producers even considered holding their original negatives unnecessary. Therefore, films that were no longer to be shown were sometimes sold for their silver content. Film communities at that time lacked the awareness for considering cinema as a part of their cultural heritage and did not do much to protect them. The sole concern was to make profit of films and shoot another one with it. While some producers tried to store them, the films were piling up and renting a warehouse was too costly. Sometimes the municipality would reserve jerry built warehouses with a leaking roof and poor insulation. During the same period, not only the film community but also the government institutions did not have an awareness for passing on the film heritage to the next generations. As a matter of fact, the state was not involved in the film industry besides imposing taxes and censorship. Films were considered as pure entertainment and they were heavily censored. Our beloved cinema of Turkey - which now dominates every TV channel airing one after another, and has been a topic for research and books - was looked down upon in the 1960s. Many currently critically acclaimed films were hit with negative views at the time and watching Turkish films were considered to belong to the lower-class. The big picture was horrifying: filmmakers who were unaware of the cultural value of their films, an arts community who did not consider cinema as an art form and those who did excluded Turkish cinema from that definition of art.... Renowned for his work on preservation of films and film education, Prof. Sami Şekeroğlu started collecting the products of our own cinema in such an artistic conjuncture. He started working on cinema when he was a young arts major (painting) at the Fine Arts Academy. In 1962, he founded the very first cinema club in Turkey, Kulüp Sinema 7, which officially considered cinema as an art form. He realized that the Turkish films he had loved since he was a child were abandoned. So, he took our country’s cinema heritage under his protection, without discriminating between films. He invested his own time and effort and founded Turkey’s very first film archive (Turkish Film Archive, 1967) and worked towards improving it. In 1969, he donated all of his possessions, including this institution, to the Fine Arts Academy where he studied. He never stopped working to improve “the only government institution established non-governmentally” and equipped the film archive with modern technology. He opened Turkey’s first courses on cinema in 1973 and in 1974 and initiated film education in Turkey by establishing the first Turkish Film&TV Institute. Currently named after his name, this institution took on the responsibility of preserving our national cinema heritage and has been operational for fifty five years without the need for any regulation dictating filmmakers to do so. Having been representing Turkey as a full member in the International Federation of Film Archives since 1973, for the preservation of our national cinema with the current technology, the Turkish Film&TV Institute has never stopped aiming for the future.
Ayşe Çoşkun Orlandi
Kadir Has University, Faculty of Art and Design
Deciphering the design qualities of a 550-year-old artisanship on an interdisciplinary platform: “Gem and Crafts” Exhibition
By the arrival of the new millennium, Turkey began to attain a leading position among countries that process gold and sell it as jewelry. The most important force behind the success of the jewelry sector was the mastery of precious metal processing, an extension and consequence of the multi-layered cultural heritage Turkey possesses. The Grand Bazaar of İstanbul has been the center of original and cutting edge handcrafting since the Ottoman Empire, and it owed its identity historically to the metalsmithing masters from different parts of Anatolia who gathered in and around the complex and established their own workshops. Masters from different part of the Empire set up shop at the khans in and around the Grand Bazaar as the main actors of this tradition flourishing outside the court. It is known that as the abode of master(y), the Grand Bazaar exported masters to France, England, and the United States and that some of the famous jewelry makers that left their imprint on the history of jewelry design were Greek and Armenian masters of Istanbul origin.
The Grand Bazaar and the khans around it operate on a network-based model of clustering that has endured since the fifteenth century. Based on micro-scale firms, today, the Grand Bazaar reflects a unique contemporary center of jewelry production, which relies on a structure that can be characterized as a creative cluster. The juxtaposed situation of the Turkish jewelry industry; having a 550-year-old heritage for authenticity but not referring to the heritage for a competitive advantage sustained by genuine design, forms the background for the research. The scientific research project titled “The Relationship between Craftsmanship, Design, and Innovation in the Context of Intangible Cultural Heritage as the Source of Creative Economy: The ‘Living Human Treasures’ of Grand Bazaar” supported by TÜBİTAK approaches to the Grand Bazaar both from the perspective of the preservation of the tradition, cultural heritage of craftsmanship and evaluation of the products in terms of their capacities for creativity and originality as a source for innovative design within the cotemporary context. The project aimed at revealing foresights on issues such as; how will this 500 years old traditional creative cluster withstand the changes emerging due to the technological shift in fabrication? How can this tacit knowledge nurture the research for new languages in contemporary design?
“Gem and Craft: In Pursuit of the Masters of Grand Bazaar” exhibition hosted by Rezan Has Museum is the product of the efforts to bring into view masters as the transmitters of a living tradition of unique and creative distinction and the desire to uphold this tradition. The conceptual backbone of the exhibition is based on the results of the scientific research project mentioned above. The exhibition is designed in an interdisciplinary manner offering a modern perspective on jewelry design by unveiling the mystery of the workshops of the last generation of masters that continue to produce using traditional techniques and contribute infinitely to the character and essence of Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar) Jewelry-Production. The presentation will draw out the findings of the interdisciplinary research project in relation to the multidisciplinary design approach as well as the curatorial process of Gem and Crafts Exhibition.
Bahçeşehir University, Faculty of Communication
The Role of Newspaper Ads in Film Research
The increasing digitalization of newspaper archives and online access to them provide significant new channels of research for film studies. While it is true that some aspects of research to be carried out via studying newspaper ads of films,such as how films were promoted, may also be approached via studying film posters, newspaper ads carry the additional benefit of being dated. Furthermore, at least in the case of Turkey where box office returns are not available for several long periods, studying the number of cinemas a movie was screened as well as the number of weeks it was screened via going over newspaper ads and listings provide some insight into apprehending degrees of popularity of individual films compared to others as well as into overall distribution patterns. This presentation will initially go over and discuss such potential benefits of studying newspaper ads and listings in general. Then, it will provide a discussion of the distribution patterns in Turkey in the late 1970's and early 1980's with the help of newspaper ads in Milliyet newspaper.
Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, Communication Committee
The Vestibule of Social Memory: “Television Series”
Hatırla Sevgili, Bu Kalp Seni Unutur mu?, Aşk-ı Memnu, Yaprak Dökümü, Seksenler, Muhteşem Yüzyıl... There are some of the most successful television series of television screens, at both the national and international arena. The common feature of all of them is to tell a story about the past. These are stories about the distant and recent past, everyday life and the change in social structure. They are the space belonging to the moment of remembrance, are places of momeries. The memory spaces are primarily residues. The memory spaces arise from the thought that there isn’t memory (archives, memorial days, anniversaries, etc) (Nora, 2006:23). If there is no memory, the spaces are needed that reminiscent of the past.
Television series can be imagined as a place of passage (as a vestibule) between past, present and future. So, It can be thought of as a place providing a kind of memory, a moment of remembrance. We begin to testify how your reality is created again with this moment of remembrance. This testimony is realized both in our own memory and in memory of the society that constituting our own memory. And that brings together three main actors: Subject, Space, Time: Subject as storyteller, television series. As a space, television screens. Time, journey to past from “now”.
This study focus on the problem "television series, could it be an element of audiovisual heritage that constitute social memory, that bearing the present to the future" that is based on the past perception and representation.
The people and societies must tell their stories to get rid of the present and future troubles. “If he loses his story, he loses his own existence.”
L'archivio Luce Come Testimone Della Storia
Tarih Şahidi Olarak Luce Arşivi
University College, London
Early Film Collection of TRT Archives: Gateway to National Film Archives in Turkey
In the absence of a national film archive in Turkey it is extremely difficult to accrue meaning about the past events of early cinema history. Archives are the sites of history. Archives offer scholars multiple visions of the bygone times and actors. State archives are chiefly the spaces of national and collective memory. So then, why is not there a national film archive in Turkey? Does it mean that the Turkish state does not pay attention to its own heritage? How difficult is it to manage a repository of cinematic memory?
One of the main reasons is the combustible nature of nitrate films themselves. Most of the early films have been reported lost or destroyed. Fortunately, Mimar Sinan University’s Centre of Cinema and TV restored and preserved a number of early films in collaboration with Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri Foto Film Merkezi. Yet, these institutions, neither materially nor symbolically, are archives. Questions of the accessibility of films still remain unsolved. Thus scholars mostly carry out research at national state archives and libraries which eventually leads to the examination of written documents and visual materials in the form of ephemera, photographs, and postcards. Value of these sources is unquestionable.
Now, it is time for a joint network. State officials, academics and archivists can search, compile and unite early films from the late Ottoman period at national and international arenas. Private and state collections can be joined together with the holdings of national universities, Türkiye Radyo Televizyon Kurumu (TRT) and Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri Foto Film Merkezi and other civic and commercial organizations. This dialogue then would lead to the preservation, restoration, compilation, circulation, and transformation of films as historical artifacts.
This point brings us to the film holdings of TRT Archives (Oran, Ankara). As a case study, this presentation will explore the early films that TRT Archives host currently. The database of TRT Archives reveals important data about the content of fragmented versions of early films, film enlargements and clips. These also include fictions and documentaries from the early period which were used in TRT’s own productions. TRT Archives offer an ample opportunity to scholars, yet a series of problems are still afoot. The presentation will explore the representation of TRT Archives, its significance, content of the collection, its virtual and material research possibilities. This case study in relation to the examination of the nature of early cinema heritage and the necessity of a national film archive can open multiple points to discuss during the workshop.
Hyperion University, Bucharest
The Visual Heritage of the Manakia Brothers in the Balkan Countries
The great photographers and early cinematographers Ienache (1878- 1954) and Milton Manakia (1882- 1964) have been claimed by Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Albania. On the other hand they were born Ottoman subjects and lived for a while as Bulgarian subjects. The Cinemateque of Macedonia has totally 1460.5 meters of negative flammable film and 945 meters of positive nitrate material, the Romanian Film Archive has two finished films by Manakia Bros. of 325 meters, while the Serbian Cinematheque has safety copies of most films made by Manakia Bros. Photos and postcards made by Manakia Bros. can be found in many collections in all Balkan countries. Although over the last 20 years, several serious studies dedicated to the Manakia brothers have removed nationalist tendencies and legends, falsified and nationalistic information is still being used.
Altyazı Monthly Cinema Magazine
Going Against the Flow: A Monthly Cinema Magazine Model that Combines the Past with the Present
Altyazı is a monthly cinema magazine, established in 2001 by students and graduates of Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and has been published regularly for about 17 years. Altyazı started its journey with an independent model, under the company called DÜO, which was also publishing the highly acclaimed photography magazine called Geniş Açı at the time. In 2003, Altyazı magazine became a publication of Boğaziçi University Mithat Alam Film Center, where it was originally established. Until lately, the magazine received financial support from Boğaziçi University while maintaining its independent publishing policy at the same time; however, the support from the university has ceased due to the recent general budget cuts. At the moment, Altyazı continues its journey with the limited budget of sales revenue and advertisements, trying to stand on its own feet. The magazine is a publication of Mithat Alam Film Center, yet its editorial policy and practice has always been autonomous, conducted by an editorial board, which still includes some of the founding members from 2001.
The initial idea behind the magazine’s editorial policy was for it to work as a hybrid model, which stands in between two different and supposedly irreconcilable styles of making a film magazine. One is the model of a popular monthly cinema magazine, which covers mostly the films in theatrical release and publishes reviews about their production. The second is the academic approach, based on film analysis and theory. As the editorial crew of the magazine, and inspired by very few examples around the globe, we tried to find an approach that blends the two. In a short span of time, we realized that the model of popular monthly makes one dependent on promotional material of the released films. Especially in a country, in which most of the foreign films can not be seen before release, the content of the magazine starts to be shaped by promotion, becoming just another promotional section of cultural industry based on film sales. The second model of an academic journal also had its downsides. Partly dependent on the film heritage and theoretic knowledge, this model tended to be isolated from the present time’s political agenda. We feared that the lack of political knowledge on the production of the cultural agenda could yield the analysis of the archival issues depend on the information once produced mostly by the cultural hegemonia. The conditions that influenced Turkey’s cultural industry have started more and more to legitimize censorship and attacks on freedom of artistic expression. Over time, as members of Altyazı and film critics, we became convinced that we have to provide a content strategy that enables us to produce knowledge about both the past and the present.
In this presentation, I will try to explain how Altyazı presents a film magazine model that blends archival approach with day to day magazine making and online content, by giving examples from our past issues. I believe that in the context of audio-visual heritage, the creative models and strategies publishing a film magazine is an important issue that effects the way we look at both the present and the past while building the relationship between them.