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Evliya Celebi is LIVE

By Natalia Chan

Maslaha is delighted to announce the launch of 'Evliya Celebi: The Book of Travels', an exciting international collaboration with world-renowned Ottoman experts, Suki Chan - award winning film maker, Royal Academy musicians, the largest private Islamic art collection in the world, and the British Council.

In the 17th Century an Ottoman traveller – Evliya Celebi – was inspired by a dream to embark on a journey across the Ottoman Empire.  He travelled far and wide across Europe and North Africa and wrote extensively about his adventures in Seyahatname – 'Book of Travels'.

Explore this exhibition and discover these travels – of both people and ideas across time and space – through the eyes of Evliya, Lady Mary Montagu, Jean de Thevenot and other adventurers.

These are stories of constant conversations and exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, through trade in coffee, music, medicine, architecture, and stories of far off but not so distant lands.

Copyright Suki ChanThis is no ordinary website – our busy team spent a few weeks designing, painting, draping, and building to transform Bethnal Green Library – the site where Samuel Pepys, a contemporary of Evliya Celebi, stored his diaries during the Great Fire of London – into a carefully crafted physical exhibition.    The decision to first build a physical exhibition and then digitally capture it to transform it into a virtual experiment means that the Book of Travels is also a technological feat – using two different forms of cutting edge technologies to capture the experience of being in the exhibition in real time and space.

In the 17th century travelling such vast distances would have been no easy feat, yet in many ways these travellers embodied what was happening on a much larger scale worldwide. As we travel through Istanbul, London, Vienna and Cairo, we find that these stories and cities do not exist in isolation, rather they are intertwined and are influenced by each other.

On horseback, by sea, on foot, through your computer monitor, feed your own curiousity and join Evliya and others on their journeys through these worlds.

Visit the exhibition!