Since February 2017, an arts and culture magazine Bant Mag. - located in Kadıköy, İstanbul - has been publishing a series of STS-themed writings. This series has become possible through the initiative and writings of Mehmet Ekinci, Ph.D. candidate in the Cornell STS Department and member of IstanbuLab. These writings appear in different formats, including translations, essays, and interviews. Ekinci contributes to this collection by an essay entitled “We Don’t Need Another Deficit Model, This Time For STS” that walks us through his journey of innovating STS in Turkey. We have also included pdf documents of these writings published in Bant Mag into this collection, which Ekinci lists in his essay as below:
Translation of Joanna Radin’s essay on Westworld and Michael Crichton was a thought-provoking take on human-computer interactions and how certain notions of error, bug and malfunction about artificial intelligence reflect a group of human norms and values’ dominance over others.
Interview with the wonderful Sophia Roosth* spanned a bunch of STS topics including the global governance of food security, differential echoes of the Green Revolution in contemporary societies depending on which hemisphere one is situated in, Cold War history and so on.
Essay I wrote about Richard Mosse’s photography exhibition in New York City was my attempt to reflect on how a particular technological artefact (a night vision, ultra-sensitive camera mostly used in war zones) was repurposed for making a statement about an ongoing humanitarian crisis.
Interview with Joseph Dumit (whose writings have been profoundly influential on my graduate studies) was a recap on the history of cyborg studies in STS, its political relevance and Dumit’s recent scholarship and teaching at UC Davis campus.
Interview with Halil Altindere and the curatorial art collective Das Art Project was based on their collaborative exhibition in Istanbul named Welcome to Homeland. Our conversation delved into socio-technical imaginaries coming out of Syria and Turkey, Muhammad Faris’ life story. Faris is known to be the first Syrian and second Arab who went to space but also a refugee who spent time in Istanbul following the civil conflict that have irrupted in his home country.
Interview with the documentary filmmaker and marine biologist Mert Gökalp on his documentary Lüfer – Boğazın Prensi(Bluefish – Prince of Bosphorus) which was the later product of an engaging conversation followed by a public screening of the film. In this interview, one could see how following the life of a single fish species could unravel a series of entanglements between political economy of fishing, environmental movements and ecological crises in Eastern Mediterranean.
*This interview is also published in English in Bant Mag. available here.