HISTORY

Ara Güler - «Τhe Eye of Istanbul»

An evening immersed in the aura of Istanbul is organized by the Culture and Tourism Office of the Turkish Embassy so as to celebrate the life and work of world-renowned photographer, Ara Güler. The event will be hosted by the Benaki Museum at Pireos Street on Thursday, May 12th.

The main highlight of the evening will be the screening of the Turkish documentary “The Eye of Istanbul” directed by Binnur Karaevli and Fatih Kaymak. The documentary has participated and received distinctions in various international Festivals such as the DC Independent Film Festival, SEEfest (South East European Film Festival Los Angeles) and Thessaloniki DOC Festival.

“The Eye of Istanbul” tells the story of Ara Güler, the legendary Turkish photographer of Armenian descent, as he prepares for his retrospective exhibition. 87-year-old Ara remains a complex and unforgettable character; still sharp, funny and philosophical. While he assembles his photographs, the stories behind his most iconic images spring to life. Αra’s beloved Istanbul acts as a secondary character in the documentary, since his photographs have captured the soul of the city for a period of over 60 years.

A student and a follower of Henri-Cartier Bresson, Ara’s mastery lies in capturing the stories and interactions between people at the right moment in history. Ara thinks of himself not as a photographer but as a historian who has recorded the lives of people and major historical events since the 1950s. Nevertheless, his archives have never been open to scholars and are instead crammed in boxes in his private office. Although he is mostly recognized for his black and white photographs of Istanbul, he has enjoyed an international career, which has spanned over sixty years and has generated more than 1 million photographs.

 

The screening of the documentary is accompanied by an exhibition featuring 40 photographs by Ara Güler, which illustrate everyday moments of simple people in Istanbul.