Call for Contribution

Call for Contribution: Researching the memory of the peaceful dwelling experience in the multicultural community in Balat, Istanbul

The Cultural and Social Narratives Laboratory NGO (CSN Lab.) together with the City Detective - Palimpsest Center for Space and Memory call for academic contributions to the “Balat: Living Together” project that aims at researching the peaceful dwelling experiences and the memory of multicultural community in Balat district, Istanbul, Turkey.

About the project: The “Balat: Living Together” multidisciplinary project aims at researching, visualizing, and narrativizing Balat, a district in Istanbul. The district witnessed the peaceful and compact dwelling of different ethnic and religious groups; the times when Armenian, Turkish, Greek and Jewish, families settled in Balat next to each other. Now the district has lost most of its multicultural image. However, one can still find the multicultural and religious fragments from the past: a few hundred meters from each other there are mosques, the Surp Hreshdagapet Armenian Church, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and other Greek churches, a Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Ohrid Synagogue, one of the most ancient synagogues in Turkey.

The project will revive the memory and everyday scenes of peaceful living of Armenians and Turks through the formation and alignment of multicultural and polyethnic images. According to most researches, this part of the city was inhabited by Armenians as much as Greeks and Jews during several centuries till the 1960s. The main focus of the project is to study the urban and social memory of the peaceful cohabitation of Armenians and Turks. Although we realize that this is not the district famous for many Armenian inhabitants in the city, its importance lies in the fact that Armenian and Turkish people lived in this district of a multicultural city together with other ethnicities.

The call is addressing to researchers/authors from all humanitarian disciplines who are interested in studying multicultural communities, their memory, and history, as well as the architectural, urban, cultural, and anthropological peculiarities of a multicultural district.

We are searching for authors who will research the specific cases of the peaceful dwelling of Armenian and Turkish people in Balat of any period. The cases of other ethnic groups and minorities (Greek, Jewish, etc.) in the district are also applicable if they somehow relate to Armenian-Turkish presence and relations. The expected studies/articles may focus on one or more of the following:

• a memory of the place;
• urban and architectural memory;
• social memory (memory of families and different forms of collective memory);
• fiction (including autobiography and memoirs) and the memory of a peaceful neighborhood.

Authors should submit their applications at by sending a summary of the article/idea (max 150 words) with a brief biographical note and a CV. In case the applicants have questions to the editor of the collective monography, they should contact Mr. Tigran Amiryan at

Once accepted, the authors should suggest an article with a minimum length of 10,000 symbols and a maximum length of 21,000 symbols by the 30th of November, 2020.

Please note that chosen applicants should write articles of their original contribution and should not be under consideration for any other publication at the same time.


Accepted languages: English, Armenian, Turkish.

Application deadline: 20th of September, 2020

Notice date: 5th of October, 2020

The copyright of the articles will be transferred to the Cultural and Social Narratives Laboratory. Published articles can be cited by giving the necessary bibliographical information. The permission to republish any article in full-text must be sought from the editors.

Articles will be published in Armenian, Turkish, and English languages in a collective monography produced within the “Balat: Living Together” project by the end of 2021, as well as on the website of the project.

This activity takes place within the framework of the Sub-grants Scheme implemented by Eurasia Partnership Foundation as part of the “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process: Stage 3” programme, funded by the European Union.