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…Neither here nor there…

December 10, 2008

…Neither here nor there…

Photographer Ahmet Polat (Roosendaal, 1978), born to a Turkish father and a Dutch mother, has always been motivated by a quest for identity. Continuously commuting between The Netherlands and Turkey he has become familiar with the question of what it means to be at ‘home’. This undefinable, sometimes uncanny feeling of growing up within two cultures has been translated photographically in a perpetual motion between the frustrated relations with the known and the unexpected understanding found in the gaze of a stranger; in careful compositions that nevertheless leave more questions than can be answered.

This exhibition is part of Meetings at the Bosporus and the Old Maas, an overarching project by Fatusch Productions, co-financed by the Dutch HAGIS Culture Program (Department of Foreign Affairs/Department for Education, Culture and Science).

Exhibition at the NBKS, Breda 2008

– Earthquake –

‘Baba…hey Baba. What are you doing here?!’ The man opens his eyes and smiles at me from his sleeping bag as if he had been expecting me. Without me knowing it, my father had hitchhiked to Turkey so that he could help the people here. It was only later that I would realize that this was a turning point in my life; it would form the contours for all my subsequent trips to Turkey and the motivation to follow my blind heart.

The exhibition was designed by Erik Vroons

The exhibition was designed by Erik Vroons

– Back –

Every time I stay in Turkey for longer that three weeks, a sense of restlesness creeps over me. I kept feeling that I wasn’t Turkish enough. It’s true I don’t speak the language very well, and many of the traditions are alien to me, but I’ve become tired of having to apologize for it. Who are these people and how do we relate? This thought pains me, although I don’t really know where.

Erik Vroons designed the exhibition for this specific space.

Erik Vroons designed the exhibition for this specific space.

– Homecoming –

Although we do not share the same history, I feel a strong affinity with these people. I recognize in them the attempt to identify oneself with the new environment, while also wanting to retain pride in one’s origins. Here, in Istanbul, I would find myself and acquire a place of my own.
And yet, now that I am able to observe the Netherlands with a distanced view, I see that my ties with that country are even more intense than before.

From → Exhibitions

  1. vicki Alleyne permalink

    Is your book available here in the United states ?
    love the pics.

    • He Vicky. Sorry to let you wait so long. I didn’t see this note. We are working on a bigger publication with the intention to also present our work within the U.S.A..
      Our planning is April 2011. But if you want to keep posted just drop me a line through my website.

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