Call for participation in workshop – The city and the myth: journey to Çanakkale

Ilios – The City and Country of the Trojans

Host City: Çanakkale (Turkey)  

Title: The city and the myth: journey to Çanakkale

Type of event: Workshop for members within the framework of the COST Action CA18126 Writing Urban Places. New Narratives of the European City.

Dates: 18 – 20 July 2022

Contact person: Giuseppe Resta,

The workshop The city and the myth aims at exposing early-career researchers to architecture, archaeology, landscape, geography, and literature with a condensed program of on-site on-field activities. The activities will be split in a one-day workshop at the Yeditepe University in Istanbul and a two-day trip to Çanakkale.
The fieldwork consists of landscape explorations of what is believed to be the setting of the mythic Troy, overlooking the Dardanelles strait. Following the outdoor itineraries, the participants will produce a photographic essay and collect a personal visual interpretation of Çanakkale. In the second step, they will be asked to produce a short fictional piece of writing accompanying their visual material. The material will be collected in a personal travelogue, which will reflect the experience of the journey that each participant took on in Çanakkale, exploring the narrative potential of the myth and the site.
The City and the myth will also reflect on how the possible existence of Troy has been extensively used for city branding, tourism, political disputes, and scientific research. Close to the archaeological site is a recently-built museum that collects findings from excavations and recent reconstructions of the city.
The outcomes of the workshop will be shown in an exhibition to be held in Istanbul and in a catalogue of The city and the myth.

The workshop will be held 18 – 20 July 2022 in the city of Çanakkale in Turkey. During this time, we will journey from Istanbul to Çanakkale, where we will be able to walk through the area, meet and interact with the local actors, experience the landscape of the Dardanelles strait, and examine the archaeological site of Troy. In addition, we will have a social gathering in the city to continue discussing the city/myth relationship that occurs via stories and narrations that are linked to this area. As a preparation to the workshop, participants will be provided with bibliographic sources, maps, and photographic material in advance.

The call is open to all members of the COST Action – Writing Urban Places. We welcome altogether 20 people to take part in the workshop. If you are interested in participating, please fill in this application form by 20 May 2022. All applicants will be contacted by June 1st with information regarding their participation. Should you have any questions, get in touch with us by sending your questions and comments to:

Local organising team: 
Department of Architecture, Yeditepe University, Istanbul.
Prof. Ece Ceylan Baba
Assist. Prof. Giuseppe Resta
Assist. Prof. Burcin Basyazici
Assist. Prof. Berna Gol
Assist. Prof. Aslan Nayeb

Guest Speakers
Assist. Prof. Sonja Novak, Sveučilište J.J.Strossmayera u Osijeku
Assist. Prof. Osman Emir Benli, Yeditepe University
Arch. Carlos Machado e Moura, Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto
Assist. Prof. Adriana Martins, Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Çanakkale is a city with a population of 200,000 on the Dardanelles Strait. It is generally known as the WWI battleground of the Gallipoli Campaign, when the British Empire and France failed to capture Istanbul as the Ottomans used geographical features to their advantage. The commander at Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, later became founder and president of the Republic of Turkey. Nevertheless, Çanakkale sits also in the region that is believed to be the same as ancient Troy, whose destruction is featured in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Until the late 19th century, the Trojan War was considered to be a fictional event, until pioneer archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann followed Homer’s geographical descriptions and identified Hisarlık Hill with the help of Frank Calvert. The site is now UNESCO World Heritage but still the boundary between myth and reality cannot be established with certainty. The workshop will expand on the grey area in which fictional stories overlap with the physical description of urban and natural environment.
Additionally, Çanakkale is also the set of the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, the lovers that would swim every night across the strait guided by the light of a tower. In 1810 Lord Byron emulated the myth swimming in the Dardanelles and inspiring a race that takes place every year.


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