Fieldwork blog: contesting Istanbul’s identity on social media

Image being shared on social media 

Artist, Burak Akbay, created and shared this piece online, saying on Twitter that he had made it as a new logo for Istanbul, since the city has a new symbol: the Arab hair transplant tourist. As the social media responses reflect, this figure is an extremely recognizable one for people living in Istanbul. Continue reading “Fieldwork blog: contesting Istanbul’s identity on social media”


Workshop on the Anthropology of Media in Turkey


I’m very glad to be joining the sessions of a great event at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. Coinciding with my first days of fieldwork here in the city, the workshop has brought together a number of scholars whose work is very important to my own investigations of social media in the Turkish context and theorizations of what digital media do in society. The workshop sessions have contained a great abundance of exchange, primarily about practical methodological experiences and approaches of doing ethnographic research in Turkey.

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Presentation of conference paper on alternative digital mappings of diaspora at IMISCOE 2017


This week our team’s paper was presented at IMISCOE’s annual conference, on a panel about methodological considerations in digital migration studies. Our paper, ‘Mapping Digital Diaspora: Legacies and Challenges,’ was based on a case study analysis of a Turkish-Dutch diaspora issue that mobilized people through social media. We use it to argue for new methods for tracing diasporic engagement online and related implications for conceptualizing diaspora in contexts of digital media proliferation.

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Symposium on the Politics of Twitter at the University of Amsterdam


Yesterday I dropped by an inspiring symposium on Public Lives/Private Platform: The Politics of Twitter organized by Matt Cornell and co. at the University of Amsterdam. Was a great, self-organized space for activists, academics, journalists, and critical tech enthusiasts of many sorts. The keynote lecture by Jillian York on the history of the hashtag was very cool and it was a pleasure to meet her.  Continue reading “Symposium on the Politics of Twitter at the University of Amsterdam”

Fieldwork blog: the many Istanbuls

A photo I took in the neighbourhood where I stayed, in Karakoy. It was referendum day, which is why it’s was so quiet and empty. Every other day, this street is packed with people, scooters, and cars.

I noticed that the sheer expanse of the city meant that people only really lived in a few neighbourhoods of it. In everyday life, there seemed to be no single Istanbul, but more of a series of passages through, and dwellings within, more particular settings. People regularly attributed their lack of time for meeting up to the long travel times between different places they had to be. And although I realise this condition isn’t specific to Istanbul (the same probably happens in any city, especially one on this scale) I nevertheless had the feeling that any singular idea of the city as a whole evaded me.

Continue reading “Fieldwork blog: the many Istanbuls”