Thursday, 17 July 2008
George Georgiou and Snow
Snow by Orhan Pamuk is a book many people, especially Turkish people, don't get on with. It's honest, direct and complex. It's also a tad prickly, in keeping with Pamuk's character.
But I love it. It's not exotic and it's not soft. I love the harshness of the city of Kars, the pragmatism by which people exist and the intricate weaving of allegiances and emnities between the religious, the secular, the devout and corrupt. The human relationships it depicts extend way beyond Turkey and tell us so much about how the world works, how politics works and how physical and social pressures can distort behaviour and a country.
Snow is also a tremendously visual book. It shows eastern Turkey in both an emotional and a physical sense.
The photography of George Georgiou works in the same way. It goes beyond the striking quality of the imagery and has a depth that reveals something about Turkey and Georgiou's knowledge of the country - a knowledge that one has a depth to it. I met Georgiou last year at Witzenhausen's Aperture Party in Amsterdam and he was a lovely man. Now he's living in England and his images have popped up on Verve, and he's also up in the Blurb Photobook Competetion (thanks to Jackanory for that news) where his book, "Happy is he who calls himself a Turk" is up on show.
He also has a book called Fault Lines East and West set for publication later in the year, which promises to be a tremendous book. In the meantime, good luck to him in the Blurb competition (and Amy Elkins whose Beyond This Place: 269 Intervals looks great).