The Coffee Reading:
Tales of the Afro Turkish Diaspora
about the visual podcast
Moved by Olpak’s quest, Ahmet Polat offered to help him spread the word through the medium he knew best: photography. Throughout the years, the Society has been raising awareness about this past while also fostering connections between the Afro-Turkish living in the outskirts of Izmir. Image-making has played a key role in this process. Outdoor portrait workshops have attracted and engaged young Turkish whereas pop-up exhibitions have helped assemble a living archive. The connection to the photographic world has also helped the Society expand its scope and establish collaborations with other cultural organisations in Europe, including Foam.
For the first edition of the visual podcast The Coffee Reading, Studio Polat and Foam invited three members from the Africans' Culture and Solidarity Society in Izmir to share their story through the ritual act of drinking and reading Turkish coffee. Their conversation is part of the Dark Moon photographic project that featured at Gallery Mercatorplein in 2022. This project is the result of the long-term collaboration between Studio Polat and the Society and sheds light on this underexposed history.
In this episode, the members talk about how the African’s Culture and Solidarity Society came to shape and the legacy it wishes to leave behind for future generations.
Watch The Coffee Reading:
The Coffee Reading: Tales of the Afro Turkish Diaspora © Studio Polat x Foam
Part of Kısmet: Through the lens of Turkish visual culture
This edition of The Coffee Reading is part of Kısmet, a multi-year project organised by Studio Polat and Foam with a focus on Turkish visual culture through research, outreach, and exhibitions. Kısmet aims to visualise what it means to be Turkish. How do young Dutch-Turkish image-makers and that same generation of image-makers in Turkey give shape to the worlds they live in? Taking as a starting point a shared heritage, Kısmet explores the complex and rich perspectives of these emerging talents.
about Studio Polat
Studio Polat Foundation aims to create platforms for the people portrayed in our stories, so they can become owners of their own stories. Stories shared will be told from an original and personal perspective instead of from an imposed perspective.
about Africans' Culture and Solidarity Society
Based in Izmir, the Africans' Culture and Solidarity Society was founded by writer and activist Mustafa Olpak in 2006. Their main goal is to meet, gather and help all the citizens of African origin living in Turkey as well as to do research on Afro-Turkish heritage in the country.
A video podcast for Kısmet by Foam and Studio Polat.
Host: Ahmet Polat
Production: Valeria Posada Villada
Visuals and edit: Annejet Brandsma
Interpreter: Yasemin Bağcı
Sound: Ronald van der Spek
Location: MAQAM, Amsterdam
Concept: Studio Polat
Special thanks to: Beyhan Türkkollu, Şakir Doğuluer, Orhan Çetinbilek
Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the Gemeente Amsterdam.