In the age of digital media, classical bookbinding seems to be an outdated and obsolete art form. Osman Doruk however, has a different view. The third and last episode of the documentary series „Living Traditions“ accompanies the bookbinder to his studio. The release date is the 17th of January 2022 at 7pm on the YouTube channel of the AIWG project workshop „Beauty and Islamic Theology“.

The last episode of the three-part series is all about the art of Turkish bookbinding. Osman Doruk shares unique insights into the detailed technical, material and design aspects of this art form with its rich tradition. Binding, preserving, and restoring centuries-old manuscripts makes his work particularly important and precious to him. The audience will have the opportunity to observe the process of creating a leather book cover and learn about the differences between traditional Turkish and modern European bookbinding.

The master of bookbinding is convinced that the nostalgic need for a sense of connection with a book, and thus the art of bookbinding with all its rich tradition and history, will remain intact in the future.


“This art will never perish“.
Osman Doruk, Master Bookbinder

Keeping centuries-old art alive

The three-part documentary series was created under the direction of Dr. Bilal Badat as part of the AIWG project workshop “Beauty and Islamic Theology“. It explores the lives, work, and reflections of three exceptional craftsmen and women based in Istanbul, Turkey: a calligrapher, an illuminator, and a bookbinder.

In the first episode, artist Efdaludin Kilic introduced viewers to the profound knowledge and techniques behind Islamic calligraphy.

In the second episode, the artist Ayşe Gülcan Özbalak spoke about her studies of the traditional art of illumination (tezhip) and the journey to her very own style of drawing.

The documentaries are released in Turkish with English subtitles.

All episodes are permanently available on the YouTube channel of the project workshop. Click here to access the channel.

About the AIWG Project Workshop

The documentary series “Living Traditions“ and the multi-part interview series “Conversations about Beauty and Islamic Theology“ are the final outputs of the one-year AIWG project workshop “Beauty and Islamic Theology“, a joint research project of the Centre for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen and the Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

In addition, the project workshop published a multi-part interview series covering a range of topics including Islamic aesthetics, calligraphy, architecture, and poetry.

More on the project workshop can be found here.