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Searching for the Cosmopolitan City in a Building

A Publication Project through the Archives of the Old British Post Office 

January - December 2022

In 1859, Britain established a post office in Galata for military correspondence. The building served as the British Post Office until 1895. In 1905-1912 the building was used as the British Boys' School. Continuing to be used with different functions by different people and communities reflecting the cosmopolitan past of Istanbul in the following decades, the building was re-functionalised as Postane and restored as a cultural centre today.

Postane aims to host social, environmental and urban impact- oriented studies and cultural production. In order to create an urban memory for both the past of Postane building and the Galata region where it is located; a project of publication and seminar series is prepared by evaluating the archives reached during the restoration. The project started with the aim of making the multicultural structure of Postane building and Galata more easy-to-read.

The project is designed as a series of seminars in order to classify the concepts of the archive research, and open the studied themes to public discussion; and a publication for the archive research.
The project aims to contribute to the urban memory of the actors who have taken place in the history of the old British Post Office and the cultural, social, structural and political factors that transform this place. Among the social issues that the project focuses on are establishing a historical narrative through the multi-cultural traces left by different ethnic and social groups operating in Galata, documenting the stories of urban traces through institutional and personal archives, and creating a dialogue space to make this archive visible and understandable. In this sense, the project aims to interpret socio-cultural history through the built environment and to share this information. 

Photo: Emirkan Cörüt

Postane, 1995
Eleonara Arhelaou
SALT Research archive

The Center for Spatial Justice

The Center for Spatial Justice (MAD) focuses on the historical, social, cultural and spatial justice demands of local communities, grassroots movements, activists, and life, against the order imposed by the construction/excavation priority political economy, which is increasingly effective in all urban and rural spaces, social relations and against democratization. With an interdisciplinary approach, it collects, produces and shares qualified, innovative and public knowledge about space. Its practices include research and broadcasting, walks, mapping, video activism and documentary production, education and advocacy, data collection and visualization. MAD focuses on solidarity in all its work.

Project management will be run by Liana Kuyumcuyan and archive studies will be sorted out by Murat Tülek.

This page is published on 10 January 2022.
Last update: 25 April 2022