I interviewed George Georgiou for the BJP last month. Below is the text and you can see the images in a pdf George made of the piece here
‘Happy is he who calls himself a Turk’
“When you first arrive in a place, you are so informed by images you have already seen that it is a burden you have to lose,” says George Georgiou, the London-based photographer who has recently returned from 8 years working in Turkey, the Balkans and Eastern Europe. “The next thing you do is look for difference, which is something else you need time to get over. Once you have done that, you start to look at what is familiar and then, and only, then can you appreciate what is different - because only then can you appreciate that it is really different.”
The differences of Turkey became apparent to Georgiou from the start of his four year residency in the country. Whilst working on a feature on where Europe ends and Asia begins. Georgiou quickly discovered the diversity of a country where the secular and religious, the military and the civil, the traditional and the modern coexist in an uneasy harmony. “To start to understand a place, you need to stay a long time,” says Georgiou. “So I started working on this idea of Turkey being the meeting point of east and west.”
The result of that work is Fault Lines, a book (to be published later in the year) that reveals the complexities of a country that is struggling to reconcile its multiple personalities. Taking centre stage in that work is the Turkish landscape. “We are used to seeing Istanbul or the Mediterranean resorts,” says Georgiou, “but most of Turkey is on a huge plateau above 1,000 m. I wanted to get this non-romantic version of Turkey where the landscape represents the harshness of its geography and its topographical place in the east.”
Continue reading here.