Il faut que les braises de Constantinople s’envolent jusqu’en Europe.

2020 - in progress
With the support of La Fondation des Artistes and Centre National des Arts Plastiques.

Topakian’s grandfather Haig arrived in France in the 20s and died without telling the story of life during Ottoman times, in Kayseri then Constantinople. Before he died, he gave a novel to his children, Un poignard dans ce jardin by Vahé Katcha, in which he slipped a note telling them how his family survived the genocide, and how a particular passage of the book reminded him of this moment. Giving this book was to him a way to tell his experience, but also to share his vision of Constantinople.

Following the book’s descriptions of Constantinople, she started conducting a genealogical investigation while photographing modern-day Istanbul and its inhabitants whose relation to their own identity is often complex and difficult. Between the city of the book and the one of the pictures, parallels could be drawn, situating modern Turkey in continuation with its past.  

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