Özlem Buyukevren, documentary photographer
There are four featured photography collections in the artists collection, each telling a story of their own. The focus today is on the most recent collection DEQ, a symbol of beauty in ethnic identity... but first a recap in the first three collections.
Spa pleasure collection
Spa pleasure invites us in to moments of enjoyment for hard working families and the buffaloes and horses that are an integral part of their life in Turkey.
The lives in the showcase collection
The lives in the showcase is a jolting study of mannequins to express deep troughs of sadness of violence against women. All in black and white each image accompanied by searing titles. "These mannequins with their arms, legs, torso, heads and hands separated were the best way to express this subject."
The Fishermen collection
The Fishermen collection shares 21 photographs of the daily fishing routines in Myanmar, China and Sri Lanka. Myanmar fisherman are shown with human sized domed rigs, cast out from wooden canoes. China fisherman tend to a sea of sewn sticks that hold together nets with matchstick like patterns. Sri Lanka fisherman take to the seas atop well balanced positions as the waves rush in.
"Fishermen have always been the shots that I enjoy. It seemed different to me that the fishermen in some regions still fish with the old methods. When I asked about this, one of the fishermen said that it was very enjoyable for him to fish with these methods. I realized that no matter how far technology advances, it's really hard for these fishermen to give up their habits and turn to technology."
There are 15 portraits to this group of Anatolian women, each sharing a voice and a desire to express themselves. Every face communicates potent feeling and each tattoo sharing a deeply felt message yearning to be listened to for a lifetime.
Here is 'DEQ', the name of which you will probably hear for the first time, that is, the symbols in our body are formed by the injection of the mortar, which is a mixture of breast milk and soot, under the skin with a needle. We carry it throughout our lives, we believe in their meaning, and it goes to the grave with us."
"So now, let me tell you why I did this to my body. - Do you see the tree on my face, between my eyebrows? I had this tree built so that the scent of nature would always be on me (linden, olive, pine) and my roots (my children) would be strong like trees. Believing that makes me strong. - The meaning of the 3 dots on my red cheeks; I had it done so that my husband would love me all her life and not marry anyone but me. - I got my chin done because we wish life to bring us luck.
"I had these symbols made because I wanted those who looked at me all my life to hear my silent wishes, I had these symbols made because I wanted them to say what I could not say all my life. I wanted to be a voice for us Anatolian women."
Go and take in the DEQ portraiture gallery in its entirety in gallery form on Eyesfi.
"I am a person who likes to photograph the lives around me with a documentary taste and to produce serial photographs of a subject."
You can learn more about Özlem and the stories her photographs document directly on Twitter @ozbrv.
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