Future Can Wait
Long term photography project
While nostalgia distorts our perceptions of the past, our present day actions have enduring effects on the future. The future will not wait for us, but time does act generously for some spaces, though as we all know generosity is not endless. In this era the future is more fluid than ever before, and this fluidity obscures clear predictions for what will happen. In my country, Turkey, for many years policy has dictated the rejection of small farming communities and the promotion of a more sustained focus on other industries. Plans to encourage the development of a functioning rural society have failed over the years, while cities and towns have become places of economical, social, and cultural dissonance.
This photographic series tell the personal story of my family as well other families who took the same path, and is based in the province of Sivas in central Anatolia. The area claims to have over 1,200 different villages, and a total population of around 640,000 people…Our family’s town, Gürün, is located on an important historical trade route between the east and west of Anatolia. With a population of around 11,200 each of its 62 villages form part of a larger area and present a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. I spent time in our town and in 15 other villages, and saw first hand how people’s lives had changed since people began vacating the area.I tried to find protagonists of the town and endeavored to discover a transparent way of demonstrating and viewing contrasts between modern and rural life and a fluid future through their portraits. My intention was to create portraits of the town’s inhabitants along with their environment.
I recall orchards touching the ground, food and skins left drying in the sun on neatly arranged roof terraces. We used to roam around the countryside and take breaks sitting on rocks next to shimmering rivers. I spent time in our town and in 15 other villages, and saw first hand how people’s lives had changed since people began vacating the area.