Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan

Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan

MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2021

I was born and raised in a village near the city of Urfa. For us, Kurdish was the language used for communicating, until I went to school. The beginning of my education marked a point that changed my primary language from the language we spoke at home and in my community to the language we spoke in school. It was forbidden to speak Kurdish in schools, so, we were taught in Turkish. Suddenly, I had to learn and receive education through this new language.
We were like ghosts in Turkey. I learned that we were not only in Turkey, but lived in four countries–united but without a name—divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey.
I began to explore the Kurdish areas through photography, examining our culture and daily life. Beginning in Turkey with hopes to complete the series in the other three countries. The photos you will see here are the first part of the project, taken in Turkey-Kurdistan.
In Turkey, there are about 18 million Kurds. For a long time, it was forbidden to speak Kurdish or to use Kurdish names for our children. This changed about five years ago, but still, we can’t use our language in schools. Impacted by these experiences, I have titled my photography project, “Shadows of Kurdistan”. We live in this region, but live without the capacity to explain our culture in our language.
In this photography project, I wanted to have images from our daily life–in cities and in villages–and to show my peoples’ vibrant culture. History of humanity flows and is archived in many ways. My way is to depict the Kurdish culture with photographs. Archiving the culture and geography that I am a part of, and combining four pieces of Kurdistan with a book.

‘Shadows of Kurdistan’ was the Black & White People Series of the Year 1st place Winner in the MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019.

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

© Murat Yazar: Shadows of Kurdistan / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019 winner

‘Shadows of Kurdistan’ was the Black & White People Series of the Year 1st place Winner in the MonoVisions Photography Awards 2019.


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MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2021