An unusual exhibition opening at the Brunei Gallery
, SOAS, My Dear Brother: Armenians in Turkey 100 years ago, provides fascinating insights into the life of the Armenians living in the borders of modern Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century through a large collection of postcards of daily life and scenery from across the region. The exhibition of both enlarged images and original postcards was conceived and put together by Osman Köker, based on his book by the same name (Istanbul: Birzamanlar, 2005).
Portrayed are different aspects of life from beautiful buildings and churches to inside factories, women working together, townscapes and craftsmen. From scenes of urban Constantinople to small villages in the east, the images show how widespread and integrated Armenian communities were across the Ottoman territory and demonstrate their roles in society. The exhibition also serves the purpose of showing ways in which Armenians, Turks and other peoples of the Ottoman Empire lived and worked together.
Added to the London showing of the exhibition will be maps, texts and an oral history-based community exhibit, displaying objects from the same era still found today in Armenians London homes. Rugs, metal-work, pottery, clothing and other textiles will be among these pieces. The historical uses of these items will be explained through accompanying texts and videos, alongside photographic material.
The postcards are from the collection of Orlando Carlo Calumeno and have been exhibited in Istanbul, Yerevan, Geneva, Paris, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt. The Armenian Institute, London, has organized the exhibition and accompanying events programme which are both sponsored by the St Sarkis Charity Trust and Diana and Panos Katsouris.