ON THE FRINGEThe Istanbul Land Walls

The Istanbul Land Walls, also called the Theodosian Walls, were built in the beginning of the 5th century CE. Despite their original construction as structures of defense, the land walls and the areas surrounding them encapsulate a multi-layered cultural landscape that bear the traces of various events, situations, and people throughout the 1600-year-long history of the city.

The exhibition examines traces of different historical periods preserved in and around the walls, discussing the relationship between the Land Walls and the cultural landscapes that surround them. The exhibition features spiritual and religious stories associated with the walls as well as stories from people who have lived and/or are living around them and from other residents and travelers who visited them. Through urban legends, historical photographs, scientific reports, and quotes from literary sources, ON THE FRINGE aims to show the plurality of memories, perspectives, and representations of this great monument.

A 1:500 scale, 13-meter long 3D architectural model, produced specially for the exhibition, depicts the size and the location of the Land Walls and reveals the walls’ relationships with their immediate environments. Within the context of the exhibition, written and visual documents have been collected that refer to events and situations that left their marks on the walls and their surrounding areas; those that could be associated with particular locations were marked on the model and accompanying map for the visitors to explore.

Design: Yeşim Demir Pröhl, Demir Tasarım