Istanbul during Covid-19 Pandemic
Seen by the Turkish photographer Yasin Baran
For Yasin Baran the pandemic times have been a moment to observe and approach his environment from a different perspective. The Turkish photographer from Istanbul gives us insights into a city which has been emptied of its usual “craziness”, colours and living-together.
Throughout his years as a student in Visual Communication Design at Istanbul Bilgi University, as instructor in the Istanbul Arel University, as a freelance photographer for agencies, magazines, record companies etc. or as a participant in the art fair Contemporary Istanbul 2019, Yasin Baran has constantly used photography as a medium for his art.
Since 1996, he has been working and shooting a “Subjective Documentary of Istanbul” which reflects his interest in people and the city of Istanbul and expresses people’s conditions and their feelings while they are trying to survive in this big city.
This also turned out well with the photos he shot during the pandemic.
Using black and white films and a DSLR photographic camera, he has recently started to shoot people and Istanbul’s local animals showing their reactions and feelings while experiencing the unknown situation due to COVID-19.
As a resident of Istanbul, Yasin Baran knows the historical peninsula of Istanbul and its “weird” streets, but he also knows how to dive into communication with people he shoots or sees. He always tries to talk to people before taking a photograph: some of them give him a chance to shoot photos very closely, others are captured by the unnoticed “eye” of his camera hiding in the streets. In some cases, this style of shooting is better suited to understanding people’s real conditions, more representative of their genuine moods. Indeed, the camera can be a strange tool in capturing people’s gazes…
Even if the pandemic times are confronting us with new faces and expressions which are difficult to grasp, Yasin Baran holds on to an essential task, always trying to find the genuine expression of people: their real states of mind and conditions.
Other photographs are available on Yasin Baran’s Instagram account: @yasinbaranow
Mahalla Festival 2020
To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic the Mahalla Festival 2020 took place as a remote festival to overcome self-isolation, demobilization and paralysis.
The Mahalla Festival 2020 was implementing remote tools to keep intercultural communication and creative expression alive even in times of physical distance and to help to cope not only with the pandemic but also to create new forms of interactive communication and understanding between different communities in the world.