The Last Music Hall

Istanbul – Tarlabaşı / 2012

The Tarlabaşı district, constructed after the great fire of Pera in today’s Beyoğlu district, was a cute region of Istanbul where minorities have lived for nearly 100 years. After the minorities left the district, migrants from Anatolia chose Tarlabaşı as their living space, and were followed by gypsies and African migrants. Tarlabaşı is the first stop for many who dream of living in a metropolis. Tarlabaşı is where people with hopes of living Istanbul, the city of dreams, to the fullest come, but find themselves lost in the dream of urban life. The district offers the most bustling nightlife of Istanbul due to its cosmopolitan nature. It is one of the few districts where music halls are located. Tarlabaşı music halls are entertainment venues in which female and transgender sex workers are present along with alcohol and music, open until early mornings. As part of a renewal project, the 150-year-old district is now being reorganized and about to be demolished, silently saying goodbye with the people in it. This work follows the trails of darkness and light, beauty and misery, sorrow and optimism of those living in the last remaining Tarlabaşı music hall, which is on the brink of demolition.