Syrian-German filmmaker and animator Waref Abu Quba takes viewers on a fast-paced tour through the ornate art and architecture of Istanbul in his short film “Takrar.” Comprised of 270 shots culled from about 2,900 photos, the stop-motion animation zeros in on the elaborate motifs and impeccable craftsmanship spotted throughout the Turkish capital. “When I first visited Istanbul in 2021, I was captivated by its timeless beauty and decided to capture it through my lens,” Quba says. “Creating each frame of this film was an utter joy, and every new scene brought unexpected and beautiful surprises.”

Two years in the making, “Takrar” spotlights the mélange of Islamic, Ottoman, Greek, and Byzantine influences throughout the city. The film is set to an upbeat percussive track played by Robbe Kieckens at the direction of Alex Story that appears to make ancient statues, decorative patterns, and architectural structures dance to the beat in a striking celebration of art and design, past and present.

Watch “Takrar” above, and find more of Quba’s works on Vimeo.


An animated image of ornate blue and white motifs

a lion mosaic

an animated image of an elaborately pattered brick wall as it appears to undulate

An ornate archway with a blue floral motif and red and white stripes surrounding it

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