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

2020 - in progress.

Topakian’s grandfather Haig arrived in France after World War I and died without telling the story of life during Ottoman times, in Kayseri and Constantinople. Before he died, he gave a novel to his children, Un poignard dans ce jardinby Vahé Katcha, in which he slipped a note telling them how a particular passage in the novel reminded him of a specific memory of his, when Ottoman officers came to his door to take him and his family. Giving this book was to him a way to tell his experience of the genocide, but also to share his vision of Constantinople.

In 2020, Topakian went to Istanbul in the footsteps of her grandfather and the Topakian family: following the book’s descriptions of Constantinople, she started conducting a genealogical investigation while photographing modern-day Istanbul. Between the city of the book and the one of the pictures, parallels could be drawn, situating modern Turkey in continuation with its imperialist past.  

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