Nevzat Yıldırım: Dreaming of Istanbul and inhaling London
A lifetime of curiosity and creativity has led to a successful career in photography for Nevzat Yıldırım. While talking with us for ALHAUS magazine No.4, he shared a favourite recent memory and his dreams for his own future.
“There was a festival, the Zeytinburnu International Photography Festival (Z FotoFest) in Istanbul at the beginning of 2018. There, I had a chance to exhibit the work that I’ve been to 10 different countries since 2011 to make, Orphans of the World. Exhibiting and connecting with viewers positively made me very happy—I think that paying attention only to aesthetic is not enough for creating an effective project. I'd like to go on to publish this project as a book.
The biggest dream of an artist is having his works seen through exhibitions and in books—the books being more permanent. I want to exhibit some of my projects which took long years to make, and then have them published. I have a dream about Istanbul that keeps me up at night. Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world—the subject of many poets, writers, musicians, painters and photographers. We are working on an elegant book—in terms of its design and content—that portrays this. Because of this project, we also want to do a joint exhibition with famous British photographer Peter Sanders [pre-eminent photographer of the Muslim world] here in London, where I’m living now.
I've been in London for about a year—I didn't take any photos for the first seven months. It takes some time for a photographer to understand and feel a city. Every day, at any moment, I tried to feel the streets, sniffed, then stopped and stood. I inhaled London. Meanwhile, I developed two different projects about England and London—now I want to complete these projects and open a photo exhibition.”
What else is on the horizon for Nevzat? “In 2010, I became the first Turkish person to win the Young Photographers Award in New York. After that, the competition jury and Boston Fine Arts Museum photography curators included my work in the museum’s collection. In the future, I would like to take part in the collections of distinguished art museums around the world and carry out my projects with global publishers. I think that memorable artists’ books are distinguished by their design, printing, cover, content and paper. I believe that I can deliver this—I'm not just taking photos.”
Pick up your copy of ALHAUS magazine No. 4 to learn more about Nevzat’s work and what inspires him.