Portraits of Unbelonging


Manage episode 294539573 series 1011677
By Ottoman History Podcast. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

| The Ottoman archives contain just over a hundred photographs that look like old family portraits, but they were created for an entirely different purpose. They document the renunciation of Ottoman nationality, "terk-i tabiiyet," by Armenian emigrants bound for the US and elsewhere. As our guest Zeynep Devrim Gürsel explains, these photographs were "anticipatory arrest warrants for a crime yet to be committed"--the crime of returning to the Ottoman Empire. Gürsel's research goes far beyond the story of the small number of photographs that remain as she has documented over four thousand individuals who went through the process of "terk-i tabiiyet." In this Ottoman History Podcast-AnthroPod collaboration, we talk to Gürsel about her research project on the production, circulation and afterlives of these photographs titled "Portraits of Unbelonging." It is a double-sided history that explores not only the context of Armenian migration and policing during the late Ottoman period but also the experiences of those pictured and their descendants following their departure from the Ottoman Empire. (Recorded August 2019) This episode is dedicated to the memory of Mary Lou Savage (née Khantamour).
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