Horses. Swords. Shields. Imposing men in mustaches and beards. A silent janissary band triumphantly reciting songs of valor and honor which only its opponents can hear, eliciting in them both awe and fear. How is it that others are unable to bear witness to hear these renowned marches, known as the “Mehter Marslari,” in Turkish, that once rocked the continents of Europe and Asia?
These gallant soldiers are tiny miniature pieces based on historical Ottoman armies and their contemporaries. However, these seemingly inanimate figures are brought to life in each game, strategically striving to defeat their adversaries with great skill and patience. In this episode, William C. Pegues, an Architectural Specifications Writer and Miniature Ottoman Army hobbiest, explains the history behind his beautiful collection, the detailed amount of work that he’s invested into its preservation and assembling, as well as the rules and procedures of the game in which these pieces are used.
Followed by Pegues’ interesting explanation and interview is coverage of the Ara Guler exhibit at the Smithsonian Arthur and Sackler Gallery titled, “Ara Guler’s Anatolia.” Program specialist and co-curator, Zeynep Simavi, Nancy Micklewright, Head of Scholarly Programs and Publications who also serves as co-curator, as well as Gracie Golden, a John Hopkins University student and another co-curator, all provide their insight into how the photo exhibition materialized and the history behind Ara Guler and his work. The motive of the exhibition is to challenge Guler’s definition of himself as a “photojournalist, not an artist.”
This video description is prepared by Ozgul Andican, TATV Staff Writer