Zeynep Eda Gönen
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the movement of people around the world has become extremely limited. Nowadays, we can travel only within certain boundaries. Most people created their own mini-travels around their neighborhoods to break the cycle of being at home. I, too, started to go for daily walks and photograph my journeys. My daily peripatetic travels and looking at my surroundings literally through a lens brought fresh points of view for me to see Tuzla, where I lived for my whole life. I created various itineraries to different locations; however, the scenes that I capture evolve around three main sites: the sea, the neighborhood, and the bazaar. Considering the current issues of the anthropocene, I was drawn into to shoot the encounter of humans and non-humans from a critical perspective. In each location, I focused on the site-specific subjects such as the natural/human, agricultural/industrial, (im)mobile structures, and (im)mobile objects. I created frames to capture the relation between the sea and the mucilage, the human waste and the green fields, the tectonic architecture of the bazaar, and the agricultural-industrial products. Doing so, I notice the degree of mobility of the structures and objects in the sites. As I was traveling, I became aware of the travel of the mucilage, the animals, the people, the fruits, the vegetables, and the structural elements of the bazaar. In this regard, the tension between mobility and immobility became one of the readings of my photographs.
To represent my travels, I created photo journals for each day’s theme. Along with these journals, I made a photo essay that brings together the photographs of Istanbul taken by Ara Güler and Timurtaş Onan and my photographs of Tuzla. Even though the location, the framing, and the distance are different in the two photographs that I put together, seeing them next to each other creates their own narratives to view the past from a “critical nostalgia” perspective.