Well it’s been a great week here in Turkey, delightful even. Very kindly I was invited to participate in the Bursa Photo Festival, and to exhibit my photography work with the Roma of Sintesti, Romania, at the festival which this year had the theme of ‘Traces of Humanity’.
The organisers had asked that I show my portrait work, and we selected about 20 shots covering both parts of the project, both the early years shot in black and white from 1990-97, and then the latter years in colour from 2004-06. The pictures were hung in the Pirinc Han courtyard, and very nicely presented. It was so refreshing to have the work hung outside instead of framed an in a straight line on an interior wall…
As well as showing my work, I was kindly invited to present a seminar about the multi-year project, and in the mornings every day all the festival’s participating photographers ( Antonin Kratchovil of VII agency, legendary American documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark, Phillip Toledano, National Geographic’s Maggie Steber, Li Zhensheng from China, Newsha Tavakolian of Iran, Ken Schles of New York and many others) held portfolio reviews, aided by Turkish coffees, in the Koza Han courtyard, for any photographer who wished to gain the views and insight of others into their own work.
Seminars and talks, round table discussions filled the day, and in the evenings slideshow presentations of works by ‘Master Photographers’ took place.
It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable week here in Turkey, one in which the photographers and editors were given both the chance to share their work and knowledge, but also the chance to gain inspiration and words of advice from their peers. The Bursa Photo Festival is only in it’s second year, but already seems destined to being a regular stop on the photo festival calendar for critics, editors and photographers alike. I, for one, certainly hope I can return again and look forward to visiting.