Asu Aksoy @ International Association of Media and Communication Research Conference

Dünyanın en önemli medya ve iletişim araştırmaları derneği IAMCR’ın (International Association of Media and Communication Research) “-Şehir, Yaratıcılık ve Bağlantı- Cities, Creativity and Connectivity” başlıklı konferansı 13-17 Temmuz’da Kadir Has Üniversitesi’nde gerçekleşti. Prof.Çağlar Keyder, Doç. Levent Soysal, Prof. Ayşe Öncü ve Doç. Asu Aksoy konuşacı olarak katıldığı, konferansın önemli etkinliklerinden olan İstanbulscapes Paneli 15 Temmuz 2011 Cuma günü gerçekleşmiştir. Asu Aksoy’un konuşmasının başlığı ve kısa özeti aşağıda yer almaktadır.

Politics of Renewal and Creativity in Istanbul
In this talk I will explore recent developments in Istanbul with respect to the gentrification of the historic districts of the city in terms of how these emerging urban spaces are long way away from the ideal of creativity. There is the political-economic context, that Istanbul as a rapidly developing metropolis is presently seeking to position itself in the context of the world system of global cities. As with all such cities, neo-liberal dynamics hold sway and consequently, historic districts are discovered to be golden assets. Thus, these very districts which have been centres of culture&arts and cosmopolitanism are being radically transformed by systemic corporate powers. There is the politics of aesthetics issue, in that a preferred style named neo-Ottomanism is being imposed in these districts. There is the cultural policy angle where there is the emerging emphasis on corporate arts and branding. Finally, there is the urban citizenship aspect to all this. The transformation that is being set into motion has created an atmosphere of impermanence, vulnerability and of inconsequentiality for the citizens. I will specifically look at the Beyoğlu district to elaborate these points. Beyoğlu is at the very heart of the city, and its cultural, leisure and historical composition make it central to the developments that have brought such slogans as ‘cool Istanbul’ into circulation. As Beyoğlu is now being catapulted into a new regime of corporate gentrification with its own take on creativity, we need to continue in our efforts to argue for another take on creativity. This, however is intertwined with a new politics of renewal.

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