Portraits of Unbelonging (POU)


Short Description

This database lists all individuals who left the Ottoman empire through the terk-i tabiiyet process based on documents in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. These Ottoman Armenians were permitted to leave on the condition that they expatriate and never return hence these photographs that predate passport photographs by a decade or more are bureaucratic documents of exclusion, taken as part of unmaking these individuals as Ottoman subjects. Hence, they are portraits of unbelonging. This database lists every glass negative that must have existed at some point with the names of all individuals whose likeness would have been captured in the negative. Moreover it charts the circulation of all bureaucratic documents pertaining to the terk-I tabiiyet process.