Suby & Sins House

27 Aug 2006 1,075 views
 
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photoblog image Istanbul's Step-children

Istanbul's Step-children

"If one has one last glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul"

Alphonse de Lamartine

Istanbul, not Constantinople - as They Might Be Giants would sing...

SINEM IN THE HOUSE - Photo taken in Istanbul with Olympus u700 point and shoot.

Istanbul's Step-children

The city which straddles two continents, which boast a sparkling blue sea endlessly running through it, the cradle of many a civilisation. The city that teaches mere mortals the most humbling lesson: All that lives must one day die, showing the mere proof in many a palace, church, mosque, synagogue, cistern, aquedact; our inheritance from old-age empires whose kings and sultans have walked the very roads of this city. The town once built on seven hills, now grown into metropolitan, home to 20 million, Turkey's largest city, where many hopefuls from the East migrate to with many a hope, many a dream, many a delusion that 'the streets are gold...'

Istanbul. The exotic, veiled, bejewelled woman. No tour you take on a double-decker or on a boat along the Bosphorus, no guidebook will tell you of the step-children of Istanbul. It is as if this woman's imperfections and secrets are glossed over in the glossy photographs in those glossy guidebooks.

You hear the history - the Roman, the Byzantine, The Ottoman... The Jew, the Christian, the Muslim... You never get to hear His Story. The story of the shoe-shine boy who lugs his box along all day long to put some money in the piggy for his mum and six siblings, or the story of the construction worker who lines up at five in the morning to be picked up for work so he could make a few bucks to provide for his family living in the 'varosh' (ghetto), or the story of the young man who walks on a motorway in between cars in the heat of the summer, to sell a few bottles of water to anyone who'd take pity.

No, you only hear histories. Or glossy stories.

What happens to His Story?

The story of Istanbul's step-children gets told in one photograph that will not get published in a glossy guidebook.

Words and Photography by Sinem

"Ars longa, vita brevis."

Istanbul's Step-children

"If one has one last glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul"

Alphonse de Lamartine

Istanbul, not Constantinople - as They Might Be Giants would sing...

SINEM IN THE HOUSE - Photo taken in Istanbul with Olympus u700 point and shoot.

Istanbul's Step-children

The city which straddles two continents, which boast a sparkling blue sea endlessly running through it, the cradle of many a civilisation. The city that teaches mere mortals the most humbling lesson: All that lives must one day die, showing the mere proof in many a palace, church, mosque, synagogue, cistern, aquedact; our inheritance from old-age empires whose kings and sultans have walked the very roads of this city. The town once built on seven hills, now grown into metropolitan, home to 20 million, Turkey's largest city, where many hopefuls from the East migrate to with many a hope, many a dream, many a delusion that 'the streets are gold...'

Istanbul. The exotic, veiled, bejewelled woman. No tour you take on a double-decker or on a boat along the Bosphorus, no guidebook will tell you of the step-children of Istanbul. It is as if this woman's imperfections and secrets are glossed over in the glossy photographs in those glossy guidebooks.

You hear the history - the Roman, the Byzantine, The Ottoman... The Jew, the Christian, the Muslim... You never get to hear His Story. The story of the shoe-shine boy who lugs his box along all day long to put some money in the piggy for his mum and six siblings, or the story of the construction worker who lines up at five in the morning to be picked up for work so he could make a few bucks to provide for his family living in the 'varosh' (ghetto), or the story of the young man who walks on a motorway in between cars in the heat of the summer, to sell a few bottles of water to anyone who'd take pity.

No, you only hear histories. Or glossy stories.

What happens to His Story?

The story of Istanbul's step-children gets told in one photograph that will not get published in a glossy guidebook.

Words and Photography by Sinem

"Ars longa, vita brevis."

comments (11)

hey sinem,

wicked shot and commentary. it is very true indeed, what you say, about the step children. and unfortunately this holds true for every major city: new york, london, paris, barcelona, beijing. if their histories are not recorded, if their lives are not acknowledged, does anyone remember them when they die? very thought provoking shot.
  • timmybomb
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • 27 Aug 2006, 04:40
Fascinating commentary today Sinem. I really enjoyed your writing, and the metaphor is perfect. The photo, however, doesn't quite work. It's not a matter of composition (that's pretty strong), it's just a matter of crappy conditions.

The lighting is much too bright, and yet the sky is smoggy, grey and gross, leaving the photo with a dull, flat, grey appearance. I'm not sure what you could have done to get around these problems, so this isn't at all a criticism of your skills. Normally I would question the photographers decision to post a sub-par photo, but I can't even do that because the words that accompany this image are certainly worth reading.
  • Mia
  • the US of A
  • 27 Aug 2006, 07:44
wow, I'm still trying to absorb all that you've said Sinem... it says so much of the life I've seen in places I've lived, and watched my father fight for that one smile on those people's faces who have no one to tell their stories. I thank you for posting up this picture and the heart-rendering words.

As for the technicalities of the shot, I think I'm at a loss for words, heh. I love it.
  • Samarth
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 27 Aug 2006, 09:00
Beautiful shot and words...reallly some deep impressive stuff.....brilliant!!!
Good stuff Sin. Very thought provoking. Looking forward to seeing some more.
  • Sidney
  • Philippines
  • 27 Aug 2006, 14:24
Your words make us all reflect...and you are right !
  • MrC
  • Kernow
  • 27 Aug 2006, 14:24
hey there Sinem! .. great shot!
(that TMBG's song is an excellent song!)
wink
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 27 Aug 2006, 16:32
Unfortunately these problems are universal. They exist in every corner of the world.

Profound picture and words.
well documented both in words & the shot.
a timely reminder of our privileged take on those less fortunate.
  • Alicia
  • United States
  • 29 Aug 2006, 20:10
It's very moody and atmospheric. I'm curious to know what the guy is doing in the middle of the road. Interesting.
  • ba
  • France
  • 31 Aug 2006, 20:02
very good subject. a good observation of the city!

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for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera u700,S700
exposure mode A-DEP program
shutterspeed 1/400s
aperture f/5.7
sensitivity ISO64
focal length 19.5mm
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