To describe Istanbul’s 212 as a small independent publication is a somewhat deceptive statement. It is small in the sense other new indie titles are small: in reach, in sales, in numbers. But physically it is one of the larger magazines out there, a hefty 192 A3-sized pages produced in a classic style that wouldn’t have been out of place in the 1950s.
This second edition, the Locality issue, presents another strong selection of researched stories loosely attached to that theme. Perhaps a better title is Homegrown; the interviews and photo essays cover local phenomenon ranging from a bizarre series of hotels in southern Turkey, replicas of famous buildings such as the Kremlin Palace (shot by Ekin Ozbiker) to the story of sirdan, a popular street snack from the city of Adana shaped like a penis. Beyond Turkey, there’s a wonderful photo series about Texas rodeo girls shot by Ilona Szwarc, Isabel Allende discusses her life in Chile and the US, and the disappearing Lenin statues of Ukraine are recorded by Niles Ackermann.
While the current state of journalistic clampdown in Turkey isn’t addressed, the issue of migration is included via Servet Kocyigit’s beautiful sewn maps that explore the idea of staelessness; and The Guardian’s immigration correspondant Patrick Kingsley writes about how immigration has caused the idea of place to morph into space around the borders of Europe.
This is another rich issue of the magazine, plenty of great imagery and writing add up to a satisfying experience. It’s not a revolution in publishing, but a really well-made, serious publication. The one let-down is the front cover – an image from another strong photo series inside about Turkish wrestling. As part of the set the image works, but I prefered the more colourful collage of the first cover.
Creative director: Ilkay Gurpinar
Editor-in-chief: Heval Okcuoglu
Art direction: Balwant Ahira