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.
This issue is ‘Future Shock’, a theme borrowed from the title of the book penned by futurist writer Alvin Toffler in 1970, in which he claims that ‘the future arrives too soon and in the wrong order’. Summing up the term ‘Future Shock’ in a 1973 Alex Grasshoff documentary of the same name, narrator Orson Welles explains:
‘Future Shock is a sickness which comes from too much change in too short a time; a feeling that nothing is permanent anymore; it’s the reaction to changes that happen so fast that we can’t absorb them, it’s the premature arrival of the future. For those who are unprepared its effects can be pretty devastating.’