Dissertation Defense: Ozge Calafato, Posing for the Republic. Making the Modern Turkish Citizen in Vernacular Photographs from the 1920s and 1930s

Posing for the Republic. Making the Modern Turkish Citizen in Vernacular Photographs from the 1920s and 1930s

Supervisors: Luiza Białasewicz, Esther Peeren. 25 November 2020, 13:00 hrs.

This research project focuses on photographic representations of the urban middle classes in Turkey in the 1920s and the 1930s in the context of a society undergoing rapid secularization and modernization. The project investigates the ways in which middle classes used portrait photography in and outside the studio to perform a new national identity following the foundation of the Republic in 1923. This dissertation looks at the role that photographic representations played in negotiating a desired identity for the newly minted Turkish citizens through a focus on the relationship between photography and gender, photography and body, photography and space as well as photography and language. It also explores the role of circulation of photographs with regard to the making of a modern citizen.