DescriptionThe shift in the United States Middle East and Near Asia policies in the wake of 2001 “9/11 attacks” continues with radical changes in many Islamic countries. Unfortunately, Afghanistan and Iraq have been the most prominent conflict arenas with a dramatic display of crimes against humanity. In this very sensitive period, some events in China’s Xinjiang-Uyghur autonomous region have been widely covered by the Turkish press and these events have been presented as one of the most critical issues in the World with reports that could potentially convince anyone who was not intimate with the issues. Naturally, a significant reaction to these reports came from the Turks, who consider their roots to be in the Middle Asia, followed by the World’s Muslim population. Last year, an official project invitation by China gave me a chance to witness the life in this region as a skeptical photographer who was highly sensitive on the issues. In a hectic schedule lasted for about 20 days, I had a chance to visit the North of Uyghur Autonomous Region, Urumchi – Ili – Bortala – Altay – Changji autonomous administration, speak with and photograph many people with diverse ethnic origins like Uyghur, Han, Kazak, Hui, Xibo and Mongol, who lived in these regions. The unique ethnic structure of the region have been supported in many ways including a secular administration, essential education opportunities in Uyghur and Chinese, higher education institutions teaching exclusively in Uyghur, additional regional credits given in the university entrance exams, government services in double languages, and aid programs for museums and publications to preserve ethnic cultures and languages. I would like to note however that the higher birth rate among the region’s Muslim population and the “child brides” that I came across often reminded me of Turkey. It was a particularly pleasurable experience to see the contributions of Jiangsu-Aiding-Xinjiang Project in industrial development, construction projects, humanitarian aid and farming in the region, and witness the happy faces who had been awarded by gift dwellings. In an interview I studied, a member of Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, sociologist Turgunjan Tursun noted that the development programs focusing on market economy were creating a gap between better-educated and socially close Han and Uyghur peoples1. However, it is possible to see serious investments by the government that could help grow the economic prosperity and fair sharing of the wealth, which I think could significantly help close the gap noted by Tursun. From this journey where I connected with the heroes of tens of different stories, I can only present a subset from many photo-stories, each of which can be a photo exhibition by itself. In future, I can hopefully have a chance to publish and exhibit each of these separate stories.
DescriptionThe catalogue of a special project for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Jointly organized by Tahir Ün and Ali Var, the exhibition "1 + 40 - Ali" will welcome visitors in Gallery Diogenes in Izmir (Turkey). The importance of the exhibition is based on many reasons. First, it is 40th year anniversary of Tahir Ün's photography. Ali, who is the other photographer organizing this exhibition, will be celebrating his first year with photography. Tahir Ün will be presenting sections from Ali Var's life, whereas Ali Var will exhibit his photos reflecting his own perspective of life. Ali Var a young ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) patient, diagnosed by his doctors to have left three more years to live and can not use 85% of his body, takes his photos with a device installed on his wheelchair. Therefore, this exhibition, dedicated to all patients in a condition similar to Ali Var, was named "1 + 40 - Ali". The aim of two photographers is to raise awareness for people with disabilities and other ALS patients through this exhibition. With all it's revenues to be donated to ALS patients, a catalog is also being prepared for this exhibition.
DescriptionIn my first publication, I intented to note two of my finalized portfolios down. The first of them "Imagined Views" was exhibited first in 1988. In this portfolio, I tried to describe man looking for freedom in the nature. The second portfolio named as "Moments of Revulsion" captures passion and apathetic times in my life. Another words, it's the tale of captivity followed by revulsion.