I have seen İstanbul in a variety of different seasons. This city, with its various cultural riches, is full to brimming with world heritage.
And this characteristic always manages to awaken the desire in me to shoot photos. İstanbul’s residents are very warm and polite. I have never encountered any problems when taking photographs. Compared to people living in other big cities of the world, İstanbul’s residents have lives less filled with stress, and this makes it easier to work in İstanbul. I think what is really difficult is to work in Morocco or Paris, because in Morocco they believe cameras bring bad luck, and in Paris people really don’t wish to be photographed.
The dynamism of İstanbul’s young population entrances me. In addition to the sheer modernity of the city, one also sees the traditions that have been maintained. Since 2005, when I started taking my photos here, until now, I have observed some incredible changes in İstanbul. The metro lines alone are increasing on a seemingly daily basis. The Marmaray project, which will connect the Asian and European continents by a tunnel running underneath the Bosporus, is moving forward. There are all these huge projects under way, new shopping centers being opened up, cultural centers opening. As for the Bosporus, that is a whole other category unto itself … it has a great effect on me.
Bruno Barbey was born in Morocco in 1941 and studied photography and graphic arts in Switzerland. From 1961 to 1964 he photographed the Italian people with the aim of capturing photographically the spirit of a nation. In 1964 Barbey began his relationship with Magnum Photos, becoming an associate member in 1968. That same year he documented the political unrest and student riots in Paris. Between 1979 and 1981 he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history, which he documented in a widely acclaimed book, “Portrait of Poland.” Over four decades Barbey has journeyed across five continents and documented numerous world conflicts. Though he does not consider himself a war photographer, he has nevertheless covered the civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in most major magazines worldwide. A prolific author who often exposes and expresses himself in book form, Barbey is especially known for his free and harmonious use of color, and has frequently worked in Morocco, the country of his childhood. In 1999 the Petit Palais in Paris held a major exhibition of Barbey’s photographs taken in Morocco over the past 30 years. Barbey, whose works have been exhibited internationally and whose photographs are in the collections of numerous museums, has received many awards for his work.
For an interview with Bruno Barbey, see www.timeinturkey.org