Recently I came across a painting – or rather a painted poster in Zurich’s hipest Kreis 4. Advertising is part of our cityscape. But this painting seemed to be more than simple advertising.
Above the somewhat out-of-time kiosk “Am Damm” – clearly visible from tram line 4 – the image of the Turkish coat of arms, the profile of an elegant man and the cover of a book entitled “Everybody’s Atatürk” by Mine Dal sought my attention. Just below, Indian curry, pizza, snacks, kebabs, drinks and money transfer were on offer. What was the picture trying to tell me?
Billboards are a familiar part of our urban world. They advertise electronic devices, insurance, banks, food and films on every corner. Cities without posters seem dead, uninhabited and colourless to us. At best, they would still evoke memories of socialist cityscapes from China. But posters for books? Well, maybe now and then there is a big poster campaign for a blockbuster, for novels by a Nobel Prize winner, for a crime novel that everyone should read or for an outstanding romance novel with a happy ending. But a painted mega-poster for a book about Atatürk? I wanted to know what was behind it. I wanted to find out which work claims to attract the attention of the Zurich cityscape with an oversized painted poster. I found what I was looking for at Edition Patrick Frey.
Everybody’s Atatürk is …
… a fascinating photo book about Atatürk in present-day Turkey, published from the Turkish-swiss photographer Mine Dal by Edition Patrick Frey. It shows a visual journey through contemporary Turkish everyday life.
For this long-term project, the Istambul-born Swiss-based photographer Mine Dal travelled to many parts of Turkey and captured the multifaceted presence of the republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938).
The result is a multifaceted image of Turkish society. The symbolic figure of Atatürk is still encountered today in almost all areas of social life: at the tailor’s, the butcher’s or the greengrocer’s, in the restaurant or at school, at the hairdresser’s and in the shoe shop, Atatürk is encountered almost everywhere in public space.
More than 80 years after the death of the state founder, his veneration is still widespread and vibrant. Atatürk had driven the modernisation of Turkey according to the Western model and fundamentally redefined the country with far-reaching social, legal and economic reforms.
Mine Dal has followed the omnipresence of this historical figure. Her photographs not only show “everybody’s Atatürk”, but at the same time everyday life in Anatolian villages, big cities, mountain and coastal regions.
This wide-ranging and carefully prepared documentation with unique visual material and with texts by Zülfü Livaneli and Altan Öymen in English and Turkish also reflects the people’s insistence on a cosmopolitan and open-minded Turkey.
You can order the book directly at the Edition Patrick Frey for CHF 68.