Topkapi Palace I Istanbul, Turkey
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This photo was taken when the Danish photographer Marie Ravn visited Topkapi Palace in 2023 to capture the palace' immense and overwhelming architecture. Few places are so wrapped in myth as the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Topkapi Palace served as the administrative centre and residence of the imperial Ottoman court from about 1478 to 1856.
Marie Ravn is a Danish photojournalist who is covering the Middle East and beyond for some of the biggest Danish media outlets such as Weekendavisen, Berlingske, Politiken and Dagbladet Information. She has a photojournalism degree from the Danish Journalism School and Fatamorgana in Denmark. Her primary interest is Turkey and the Middle East, where she likes to explore and portray cultures and identities. Her goal, just like Østerland's mission is to uncover hidden stories, shed light on overlooked societal aspects and reflect on the human condition.
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Meet the Artisans of Østerland
Østerland collaborates with over 30 artisans in two countries, primarily from Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan. All of our artisans receive a piece-rate that is over the market average in their countries as well as a living wage. Most of our products are designed in collaboration with our artisans, offering you unique items found nowhere else in the world. Our relationship with our artisans are close and informal and built over the years with mutual respect and care between Oesterland team and our artisans. Meet a selection of our artisans here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can we buy your products?
You can buy our products on our website with local (Denmark) and worldwide shipping. Our products can also be found at a number of museum shops as well as boutiques in Denmark and around the world. Please see the full list here.
Do you ship worldwide?
Yes. We ship worldwide. We ship with GLS in the EU and for the rest of the world we use DHL.
Who designs your products?
Most of our products are designs that have already been developed in Afghanistan and the Middle East and belong to our partners and artisans. Many of these products and their designs have been passed from one generation to another, have evolved in response to their environments and contribute to giving the region a distinct identity. Sometimes Østerland will make adjustments to these products, so they fit into a global market. These adjustments can be color, size, shape and patterns. We also collaborate with external designers from Denmark which have focused on storytelling and showing the best the Middle East and Afghanistan has to offer. Our products will always have patterns, motives and techniques relevant to the local and refugee artisans’ culture. The Østerland team is always inspired by islamic, anatolian and central asian art.
Where do you operate?
We are based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our artisans are based in Herat and Kabul in Afghanistan. Our artisans in Turkey are based in Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay.