Jay Weissberg



At the dawn of cinema, cameramen spread out around the globe, seeking to bring the world’s wonders to a public hungry for images of locales near and far. Unsurprisingly, the Ottoman Empire, and the Arab world in general, made for a perennially fascinating subject to be presented in cinemas, frotm street life in Istanbul to the ruins of Luxor, from the minarets of Sarajevo to the walls of Figuig. Most of these films are lost, but many are extant, generally forgotten and languishing in the world’s archives, often unidentified and in fragmentary form. The goal of Views of the Ottoman Empire is to resurrect the materials that remain, and present them in the territories where they were made, giving local audiences the opportunity to view their past via wondrous moving images from the 1910s and 20s, frequently boasting their original stencil colours.


Danse des Ouled-Naïls (France, 1902)
Türkei – Konstantinopel – Aufnahmen von
Istanbul in Pathécolor (France, ca. 1913)
Sarajewo, die Hauptstadt von
Bosniën (Austria / Autriche, ca. 1913)
Jerusalem (country and date unknown / date et pays inconnus)
La Ville de Damas après le bombardement (France, 1925)
Tripoli (Italy / Italie, 1912)
Moroccan Shoemakers (France, 1915)
Sous les murs de Marrakech (France, ca. 1927)
Tangier in Colour (country and date unknown / date et pays inconnus)
Figuïg (France, ca. 1921)
Constantine (France, 1913)
Egypt (compilation, dates unknown / dates inconnues)
Les Fontaines sacrées à Constantinople (France, 1926)