Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Making Grandfather Come Out Better

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Portraits of Ancestors and Digital Manipulation in Contemporary Turkey

image of Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

In contemporary Turkey, a growing number of lower to middle-income families bring old and often damaged photographs of their deceased family members to digital studios for restoration. Digital restoration artists, whether working online or from photography studios, retouch these photographs in often highly creative ways, such as adding color and fantasy backgrounds, or combining discrete portraits into fictional (diachronic) family portraits. Digital technologies such as the Photoshop program are here called upon to perform a very old desire: that of ensuring a dead person’s continued presence. Engaging with debates on the passage from analog to digital and the relationship of photography to death, I examine this process from two perspectives. First, I focus on digital artists who understand their work in professional terms as intensely material, and in social terms as one of ‘saving photographs from death’; second, I examine the renewed social potency that such digitally remastered photographs acquire in Turkish homes, where digital intervention not only ensures the continued potency of ancestral photographs in ensuring the presence of the deceased patriarch, but also enhances this presence in novel ways. Digitally remastered photographs are understood here as more than ‘just’ photo-realistic. They are ‘more perfect’ or even ‘more real’: their fictionality adds to their auratic character as icons of authority and makes them eminently suited for the renewed kind of social work that is demanded of them.

Affiliations: 1: Başkent University, Department of Radio, TV and Cinema, Turkey


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation