Belleği silmek / Shanghai-Istanbul / Erasing memory

Fracture between the past and the present: Deconstruction by construction

China and Turkey are obviously developing intensely and becoming two of the strong economies in the world. The development in both countries is accompanied by a very large construction activity, which is usually seen as the locomotive of economy. Yet it seems that this construction proceeds way faster than necessary and cities, urban cultures of historical significance like Istanbul and Shanghai are damagingly affected by this fierce, ruthless construction activity.

The skylines of various neighborhoods in Shanghai and Istanbul started to be disrupted by high-rise buildings; small communal green areas, parks and small-scale humane streets are relentlessly sacrificed for inhumane building projects. Though the typical alliance of state/capital claims to be conservative, not much is conserved at the end; cities as we remember, integral values, traditional urban corners, natural resources are all gone: This can be shortly described as “erasing memory…”

This series of photographs, mostly taken in 2014, depict the current situation in Istanbul and Shanghai, by trying to show the comparable deep gap in between what China and Turkey used to be and where they are leading to nowadays.