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ULYSSES European Odyssey

Emrah Kolukis
Coexistence in modern day Europe

Eighteen established writers, one from each city/region, will be commissioned to write a chapter in a response to their Arts & Society theme within the context of their city.

Just as Ulysses is innovative in its form and language, so the writers will be chosen with a view to reflecting a breadth of genres, styles and innovations. Each writer will ideally attend their own city’s event. All the (new) chapters from the 18 cities/regions will be brought together in a book publication: ULYSSES European Odyssey.

Emrah Kolukisa will write the Istanbul chapter.

Writer’s Statement

While thinking about co-existence… It’s been 100 years since Ulysses was published. It’s an interesting coincidence that the country we live in is preparing to celebrate 100 years since the founding of the Republic. However, in the meantime, we are being governed by a government who promote the idea of fighting against each other while we approach this most crucial celebration. It is true that we fight about and discuss everything and wake up to yet another contradiction every morning. One morning it is the belief systems, the next morning women’s rights, or lawless decisions in the courts, or freedom of speech… While the government is busy creating superficial agendas designed to politically polarise people, we search to find common ground, to live together under the same sky, re-creating, re-inventing ways to co-exist. That’s what comes to my mind when thinking about co-existence in Istanbul, a city inhabited by more than 20 million people. We are not like one another; some of us believe in God, while some in stardust, some of us feel peaceful gazing at the Bosporus, others walking within the Byzantine city walls. Time plays games in Istanbul with her people. Following the traces of Ulysses, which may be considered the most ‘dangerous’ book of its time, re-exploring the city by getting lost in the streets of Istanbul as if losing oneself in the pages of the book and in the mind of James Joyce is the newest game, the most exiting game. That’s what I am after.

Writer’s Biography

Emrah KOLUKISA (1968 – Istanbul) After graduating Galatasaray French High School, Emrah got his BA in history from the Bosphorus University and received his degree in acting from the Istanbul University State Conservatory. He created, produced and presented many radio and TV programmes on arts and culture. He has been and still is one of the most sought after arts and culture writers of Turkey’s most distinguished newspaper ‘Cumhuriyet’ as well as some Arts-Cinema periodicals. He is currently the creator and presenter of most acclaimed podcast “Cultural Heritage of Turkey’ in addition to taking part in mainly art house/avant-garde films. He is fluent in English and French.