Faithful Reader! Its all about to turn mental. Christmas is coming, exhibitions are brewing [did I mention that?!] and I'm so behind on blogging all things LIFE that I've got myself into one of those seemingly insurmountable backlogs of photographs and diary notes which you just look at and think WTF WENT WRONG.

Anyway. At the beginning of the month, I was very lucky to go on a work trip to Istanbul - one of Europe's largest cities, with a population of 17 million people - THAT IS HUGE. Where East meets West, where cats hang on every street corner and where every three hours, the air is filled with probably the loudest calls to prayer you'll ever hear. 

We were there to check out Istanbul's Biennial - an enormous gathering of the finest modern art from across the whole ofTurkey and the middle East. I won't go into too much detail, check out the pictures and you'll get the jist of it. 
It was impossible to be in such a place and not get drawn into the city's incredibly rich history - a conflation of religions, ideologies, cultures, languages, minorities and relics. This was like the best sort of field trip, where themes of appropriation, ownership and public space ran through the modern art we saw on display, to the ancient monuments of the past which littered the horizon, ending up at the concrete plains of Taksim Square, home to the city's most recent troubles.
The Dark Village:
Eating humous on the BUSIEST STREET EVER during the Football game:
Cats (we didn't see any of the swimming kind)
Blue Mosque:
Inside the Sophia Hagia:
11th Century mosaics:
Istiklal Street:
The Grand Bazaar:
Down by the Bosphorous:
Taksim Square:
Entering the Asian side:
Monkey and nappy:

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