September 55


Keller Gallery, Room 7-408
On view from Saturday November 5, to Friday November 11, 9 AM - 6 PM.

September 55 is a 10-minute virtual-reality documentary of the Istanbul Pogrom, a government-initiated organized attack on the minorities of Istanbul on September 6-7, 1955. This interactive installation places the viewer in a photography studio in the midst of the pogrom, allowing one to witness the events from the perspective of a local shop-owner.

Drawing on the photographic archive of Maryam Sahinyan (1911-1996) and Osep Minasoglu (1929 - 2013), Armenian photographers who lived in Istanbul at the time, the installation materializes an extinct space. The wall in the virtual studio that exhibits Sahinyan’s photos is transformed into a documentation of the raids and their aftermath in the physical space; by overlapping the layouts of the two spaces the project experiments with the transition from a virtual to physical experience.

The experience of the space induced by participating in the mundane activities of the photography studio aims to generate unique historical narratives that are reproduced and enacted by the viewer.

The documentary is viewable by one visitor at a time. To reserve a viewing time, please sign up here. Walk-in visitors will be accommodated as free viewing slots are available.

Project by:
Cagri Hakan Zaman (PhD Student, Design and Computation Group, Department of Architecture)
Nil Tuzcu (Research Fellow, Department of Urban Studies and Planning)
Deniz Tortum (Alumnus, Comparative Media Studies)

Special Thanks:
Selim Can Bilgin, Ali Coskun, Gul Coskun, Hazal Ince, Myrna Koonce, Heather M Ligler, Nina Opojevici, Olga Opojevici, Nathan Saucier, Elif Sengul, Nazan Sengul, Firat Sezgin, Ainsley Sutherland, Osman Tortum, Damla Turhan, Katia Zolotovsky

Courtesy of Fahri Coker Archive and Dimitrios Kalumenos Archive.

This project is supported by Council for the Arts at MIT.