:In search of the Ottoman Empire
Accompanied by a live performance:
Adorel Haxhiaj, cello
Artemida Qarri Haxhiaj, piano
* The event is organized in cooperation with Remusica Festival.
We realized that the context of Ottoman history and geography provided the ideal background to bring these films back to the audiences and particularly to those still living in these regions. Admittedly, we use the Ottoman history and territory in the broadest sense: any city that has ever been part of the Empire, even if it had separated from the imperial territory decades before the discovery of cinematography, can be included as long as the images reflect the Ottoman heritage.
Ottoman project is an archival project, the films are shown as they are found and preserved in the archives. We do not pretend that this footage is unique or has never been seen before. You may have seen parts of it already, edited into historical documentaries and explained by a voice-over. But now you get the chance to see the entire footage.
Our belief is that this material was widely produced and distributed around the world, and that it can still be found in many audiovisual archives. This footage was shot and screened by various producers and for various reasons such as propaganda, education or entertainment.
Ottoman project does not pretend to provide any answers; it poses even more questions on what we can still see. Finding the archival footage does not provide answers, but opens up new matters to explore and discuss. We welcome experts in many areas to watch and comment on the films in the hope of enlarging our shared knowledge.
We think of the project as a traveling project, spanning several years. Since the launch in 2014, the project has traveled to eight countries, in various forms (each time the program is made to measure and no two programs are ever the same). In 2015, the project visited DokuFest for the first time.
This year’s program compiles ‘new’ material from three European archives, including recently discovered and restored material such as BEELDEN UIT YUGOSLAVIE (1926) and ARMENIA, CRADLE OF HUMANITY (1919-1923). This year, the selected films are from the period 1912-1926 (the decline and the aftermath of the Empire also gradually becoming one of the important topics). The program briefly pays tribute to the events of 1915: the Gallipoli War and the Armenian question. It also contains, as usual, footage of beautiful places such as Rhodes (under Ottoman rule until 1912) and of course the Imperial capital, Istanbul.
Thanks to: Cinematheque Royale De Belgique, Cineteca di Bologna and EYE Filmmuseum.
Turkije [Turkey] (FR, 1915, Eclipse) [from EYE] 3’52”
Tra le pinete di Rodi [Between the pine woods of Rhodes] (IT, 1912, Savoia Film) [From EYE Desmet Collection] 4’11”
Types de macédoniens [Macedonian Types] (1912-1914) [from Cinematheque Royale De Belgique] 6’
Annales de la guerre #92; Dardanelles [The War Annals #92; Dardanelles] (FR, 1918?) [from Cinematheque Royale De Belgique] 2’40”
Armenia, Cradle of Humanity (1919-1923) B&w. Silent. From: Library of Congress, restored by Cineteca di Bologna. 4’
Jerusalem [Bits & Pieces Nr.50] (F, 1925?) [from EYE] 2’
[Izmir and Ephesus] (FR?, 1925?) [from EYE] 3’28”
Visions de Yougoslavie [Views of Yugoslavia] (FR, 1926, Pathé) [from EYE] 14’
Les fontaines de Constantinople [The fountains of Constantinople] (Pathe Revue nr.4, 1926) [from EYE] 5’10”
Constantinopel, natuuropname van de grootste stad van Zuid-Europa [Constantinople, documentary images of the biggest city of Southern Europe] (FR, 1920) 10’ [from EYE]
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