Heterotopien by Karsten Kronas (b. 1978, Germany) is a series about Beyoglu’s throbbing life, a personal depiction of Istanbul’s neighbourhood where the photographer lived for two years.
Despite the personal approach of the series, its title already transmits the photographer’s awareness of Beyoglu’s social issues: in this instance Foucault’s concept of Heterotopia, borrowed by Kronas, suggests the idea of urban and social fragmentation. Kronas describes Beyoglu as “a place which constantly poses new questions, a place of easily shattered dreams, a site of incomprehensibility, of permanent collective limbo and of countless contradictions”. However, the characters of Heterotopien/Beyoglu present themselves as playful, looking straightforward and tender at the same time. The alternation between bright reds and electric shades of blue identifies the contradictions referred to by the photographer, the people’s comfortable gaze despite Beyoglu’s enduring state of transition.