Mark this down: Molly Crabapple is going to be a huge journalist in the years to come. She’s an artist and writer, drawing and reporting her way around the world for a whole bunch of publications. She brings her artists eye to reporting, which makes the work compelling in a way that most other journalists can’t match.
One of Crabapple’s latest pieces, for Talking Points Memo, has been released from behind their pay wall (thank you, TPM). TPM sent her to Istanbul to report on the violence and protests in Turkey, a country that should fascinate you, if you’re the least bit interested in the intersection of Western thought and Islam (and the Ottoman Empire!).
As parks go, Gezi is nothing special. A few blocks of Central Istanbul, with scraggly trees and a Cthulhu-looking fountain, it is neither the city’s biggest park nor its prettiest. But when Erdo?an revealed plans to replace the park with reconstructed Ottoman barracks, and then convert those into a shopping mall, city dwellers saw it as the final straw in his sale of Istanbul to developers.
On May 31, environmentalists camped in the park. Police began with tear gas, then burnt their tents.
A year later protesters still divide their lives into before and after Gezi.
The boundary is made of tear gas.
Crabapple is capturing a truth in her drawings that can’t happen with just words. We’re better for that.