While struggling to come to terms with becoming an outsider to my home town, İstanbul, I was introduced to a collection of photos taken by Dutch tourists visiting İstanbul in May 1979. The photographs they took are littered with political fragments that end up being the backdrop of the tourists' holiday. This was inevitable—the tourists were in İstanbul during Labour Holiday of a year where political discourse reached a crescendo. The government declared a curfew, limiting everyone to their homes, balconies and rooftops; but the day was not without any incidents.
Yabancılar is the outcome of the exploration into found footage and history in the form of a photobook. While the images show only a small fraction of the time period, a version of İstanbul experienced through a European tourist’s perspective, the narrative is constructed to highlight what stays in the periphery during a volatile time in Turkish history.
Yabancılar’s primary language is Turkish, with English translations in the addendum. It was printed on UPM Sol and Majestic Real Silver.
Shortlisted for Kassel Dummy Award 2022