212 is a biannual magazine based out of Istanbul, published and distributed internationally. It contains short fiction and long-form reportage, distinctive photo essays and revealing interviews. Even though it was born in the city where east meets west (as the love-worn cliche goes), the magazine seeks to transcend the loaded dichotomies of Istanbul's favourite metaphor, and extends its gaze far beyond the region.
The name “212” comes from the area code for Istanbul, but it also happens to be the area code for New York – a piece of misdirection that’s characteristic of the magazine’s ethos: as soon as you try too hard to close in on your subject it has a habit of defying you. Rather than pigeonholing ideas into narrow parameters, 212’s contributors trace connections that will surprise and delight.
Each issue is centred around a loose theme and has two editions: English and Turkish. 212 aims to be as challenging as it is influential – to provide an inclusive space for ideas and perspectives to mix without prejudice and better interrogate social, artistic and cultural phenomena from the region and around the world.
In this issue we wanted to take a close look at the ‘big data society’ floating in a pool of unique truths, from a different perspective – we even went as far as coining a new word for this issue: Impersonatopia. Referring to our ‘feigning’ states, this word allows us to examine the new stations, technology and living spaces, as we travel on the high-speed train called civilisation. In Impersonatopia, we focused on the tension between two words that have common etymological origins, but come with completely different direct and indirect connotations: ‘impersonal’ and ‘to impersonate’.