Aziz Gökdemir's Archive | THTB Index | October 2000
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October 2000: 1 and beyond - 18 - 23 - 25

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October 1 and beyond, 2000
Vacation


Central Park, NY, 1993: Girl with Alice statue
Central Park, New York City, 1993: Girl with Alice (in Wonderland) statue.

It's a do-nothing month. Go play in the park month. Go take more photos like the one above and feel like something other than a beast of burden kind of month.

So there won't be much written here for an entire month, though toward the end I may come back and post once more before the month is out.

Until then, in celebration of the joy of long breaks in life, read Scott Anderson's fortuitously titled October.

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October 18, 2000
Where's Waldo? Part I


Greek widow fishing in Ouranopouli

Greek widow fishing in Ouranopouli, near the autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos. Photographed on October 3, 2000.

Look, an update. Seems like I've been on the road forever; and in a way I still am. I'll post other images in bits and pieces in the coming days. They should end up in organized portfolios in the Art Gallery by the end of the year -- with better scans, one hopes; I'm not too pleased with the performance of this slim Canon USB thingie in the satellite office (ahem). Must sleep now. Must do things. It's almost noon already? What happened to the morning? For that matter, what happened to last night?

Cat on Amsterdam street

Cat on Amsterdam street. Photographed on September 29, 2000.

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October 23, 2000
Where's Waldo? Part II


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People photographed around Syndagma Square in Athens on October 8, 2000.

Meanwhile, rain continues in Istanbul, across the Aegean Sea. As many people know, the country was placed under curfew once again for the national head count yesterday. A friend and I took a long walk and snapped pictures with a couple of huge Nikons he'd recently acquired through events too boring to go into here. We acted like we were journalists and ignored the cops, and they in turn ignored us. The rain helped, I'm sure. We heard later that some people had been taken in, though. I can't believe that this time they didn't even allow tourists out. The industry leaders were moaning today that they were terribly embarrassed while they tried to explain this odd phenomenon to their clients. All true, but of course we have more serious matters to be embarrassed about.

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October 25, 2000
Where's Waldo? Part III


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borderVilla Karagiozis, Ia, Santorini, GreeceStray tabby cat, Athensborder
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Villa Karagiozis photographed in Ia (Santorini, Greece) on October 10, 2000. Stray cat photographed east of the Acropolis in Athens on October 8, 2000.

We're still waiting for that promised "Strays" portfolio, the cat says. Soon, little devil, soon. In the meantime I should say a few words about the story of Karagöz/ Karagiozis for readers who are neither Greek nor Turkish.

Now a legendary character in traditional shadow puppet theater in Turkey and Greece (along with his best friend and nemesis Hacivat/ Hadjivat and a supporting cast of colorful characters including a transvestite and a knife-wielding gangsta) K's origin -- according to most guidebooks on Greece and Turkey -- dates back to the period of Orhan II, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the mid-1300s. K and H were construction workers at a mosque in Bursa, then the empire's capital (and today a rather large Turkish city). They were such clowns that other workers would often stop to watch their banter, slowing the project down.

The sultan was not amused, however, and ordered them hanged. Afterwards, he was remorseful, and to console him (I guess no one thought of consoling the relatives) a puppet master drew two-dimensional colored silhouettes based on K and H, and played a skit (against an illuminated background, with voiceover narration and sound effects) for the imperial court. Thus this version of shadow theater, so says the legend, was born.

Today K, the earthier of the two, represents the common man (and woman, I suppose) and his triumph over adversity as he outwits those better educated than he. The latter category is represented by the foppish H, whose prissy manners are a source of endless put-downs by K.

In short, Karagöz/ Karagiozis is Turks' and Greeks' version of "Fanfare for the Common Man" and when I saw his familiar silhouette gracing a very posh, uncommon (in the Dickensian sense) setting, I stopped and grabbed a picture.

And then I beat it out of there before the irrepressible K could start making fun of my camera-toting, sunscreen-wearing touristy intrusion.

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