Introduction: Orienting Istanbul – Cultural Capital of Europe?
The realization of this book owes much to digital technologies. Email, skype and Google documents enabled collaboration – across continents and time zones – between Providence, Istanbul and Berkeley.1 Our world is shrinking, while cities are expanding into each other, continuously reshaping our (and their) sense of place within a global horizon. As cities compete for relevance they are challenged to claim both situated difference and global connectedness. This book explores such tensions in various spheres of knowledge production such as art, social sciences, market, and governance, which appear increasingly entangled in the everyday practice of the present-day city. Coming from three disciplines – architecture, anthropology and cinema – our interests in cities and in Istanbul in particular converged. This collection offers new multidisciplinary research focusing on Istanbul, but it also speaks to readers curious about cities elsewhere, in Europe and beyond. We are keenly aware that the world is becoming an ‘endless city’ (Burdett and Sudjic, 2008) – at least for those of us with access to networks of communication.