1 / 2       A young girl is pictured after get wounded during clashing after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during last year’s anti-government protests. Istanbul, March, 12th 2014. © AFP/Bülent Kiliç.
2 / 2       Thousands of Syrians break down fences and coming from illegal way from Tal Abyad after they heard Kurdish fighters are coming near the Turkish Akcakale crossing gate in Sanliurfa province. June, 14th 2015. © AFP/Bülent Kiliç.

An issue (not) only Turkish

It is a more than an appropriate title the one chosen for Bülent Kiliç’s show held at Palazzo Modignani and part of the exhibition section A glance on the world.
Visions of Turkey is in fact not a single topic, but rather a collection of works done by the award-winning Turkish photojournalist in his native country. A nation which in recent years has been the protagonist of some extraordinary events, capable of striking for their dramatic and sometimes able to jeopardize the already current delicate international geopolitical balance. Facts that, because of their inherent characteristics have often attracted the attention of international media. And, of course, that of the author, yes involved in a professional way, but also probably on a personal level, as a Turkish citizen.
Following the path proposed by the exhibition displayed in Lodi you will come across therefore a series of photos taken by the author during the riots in Taksim Square (Istanbul) in March 2014 – of which the image of the suffering girl stopped by the police has become the symbol – and those documenting the tragic collapse of the coal mine in Soma, a city located in the west of the country, which took place in May of that year. Until you get to perhaps the most interesting part of the exhibition, in other words the one that brings together images shot along the Turkish-Syrian border, where they have been through and are still going through one of the biggest tragedies over the last few decades. Kiliç was in fact on the border crossing of Akçakale when, in June 2015, during the most intense days of the battle between the Kurds and ISIS, thousands of Syrians were fleeing the city of Tel Abyad, the epicentre of the fighting, and were trying to enter Turkey. The Turkish authorities, however, in an attempt to stem the mass exodus acted immediately by closing the border, leaving the Syrian refugees literally stuck between the two countries. «In less than ten minutes – says Kiliç in a video presented at the last edition of Visa pour l’Image, hich saw him winner of the renowned Visa d’Or News – about twenty thousand people had massed there. I photographed this tragedy for four hours. Almost every person was carrying a child, screaming and trying to pass through the gap. The opening was so small that people were trampling each other to get through, and the children were passed over the barbed wire. I hope I will never see anything like that ever again».
What remains of this complex visual journey, which is able to take visitors to the heart of Turkey up to its farthest and tormented borders, is a kind of imperfect profile, although of great impact, of a complex country, always suspended between Asia and Europe. Those images by Kiliç are certainly not of striking quality or of sophisticated expression. Their strength lies rather in their ability to convey with immediacy, current situations that perhaps not all photographers would face on the frontline. They live indeed, more like single shots than within reportage. Reportage in fact plays on the balance and on different tensive weights, on alternating suspensions, broadening of perspectives and decisive moments to be mixed carefully with sequencing. Kiliç seems to focus only on the instant. An impression also supported by the outcome of this year's World Press Photo, where the Turkish photojournalist won both the first and the third prize in the Spot News... single photo. [ S. B. ]

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VISIONS OF TURKEY
by Bülent Kiliç
Palazzo Modignani | 10-11 / 17-18 / 24-25 October 2015
admission fee: 10,00 € (valid for the visit to all other exhibitions)


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[ INTERNAL RESOURCES ]
FFE2015 on FPmag
Visa pour l'Image 2015 on FPmag

[ EXTERNAL RESOURCES ]
A glance on the world
Festival of Ethical Photography
VISA pour l'Image
World Press Photo
Bülent Kiliç at World Press Photo 2015

published on 2015-10-29 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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