postcard #11. just desserts

The Pudding Shop, Istanbul, December 2014

[Reposted from]

Continuing our reference to Midnight Express (1978) from the previous postcard #10. We find ourselves at The Pudding Shop in Istanbul. While obviously not a carceral site, it plays an interesting role in our carceral imaginary as it features in film as the cafe where Billy arranges the deal which lands him a trip on the ‘midnight express’, Sağmalcılar Prison. Like, the Four Seasons hotel, the restaurant clearly trades off its tenuous association with the movie yet at the same time attempts to distance itself from too close an association with Billy’s fate by claiming a folklore which precedes the film. The extent to which both experience or knowledge of incarceration is shaped by cinematic narratives and in turn the extent to which such narratives shape our experience of the places we visit bears consideration. Incarceration continues to be framed as a spectacle to be consumed as popular entertainment. At the same time, the embodied experience, psychogeography or whatever you might call it involved in moving around the physical space of a former or working prison site has already been mediated and framed by the screen.

pudding shop

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