Julia Harte

Writings & wanderings.

Archive for February 2012

Istanbul’s Main Square To Become Lifeless And Isolated In New Urban Plan, Opponents Warn

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27 Feb., 2012, Green Prophet

Streets become highways, trees make way for the mall in a new plan for Taksim Square in Istanbul.

Today, Istanbul’s Taksim Square is a bustling hub of activity, with majestic Gezi Park providing some natural solace — even when the trees are brown in winter, as in the above photo. But a new plan would eliminate most of the greenery in this photo and cut off Taksim from the rest of the city. That’s the argument of the Taksim Platform, a group of concerned citizens, urban planners, lawyers, and academics who have so far collected more than 13,500 signatures against the project. See what the new square would look like after the jump.

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Written by juliaharte

February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

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Our Own Worst Oppressors

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February 2012, TimeOut Istanbul (print edition only)

REVIEW: Prisoners of Ourselves: Totalitarianism in Everday Life, by Gündüz Vassaf

Sanity, heroism, menus, agreement, heaven, goals, and words.

These are among the everyday oppressors that Gündüz Vassaf identifies in Prisoners of Ourselves: Totalitarianism in Everday Life. The book, which was written in English in 1987 but only published in English for the first time in December, is a collection of ruminations on the ways that members of liberal, democratic societies exert totalitarian control over themselves and others.

As the above list indicates, Vassaf takes a broad approach to his subject, classifying as “totalitarian” anything that restricts freedom. In particular, Vassaf’s complaint is with trends that provoke people to act against their natures. In these nineteen essays, he argues that humans divorce themselves from life through everything from diurnalism to “death forgetting” — the collective suppression of humankind’s fear of dying.

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Written by juliaharte

February 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized