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Society & Stories

what has been said, undone

The facades of istanbul

The facades of Istanbul tell a lot about the history, the people and changes of this city. By walking through different neighborhoods one might notice not only commercials or architectural characteristics, but also repeatedly colorfully painted fields on the walls, which are most likely covering sprayed messages as if they were silenced by paint.

This photo series tracks these covered areas, consisting of several layers of non-fitting different colors and appearing like dilettantish abstract paintings on the surfaces of the facades. The use of the photographic cutout enhances those odd compositions in between doors, windows, gutters and pipes.

At some points the text is still visible, revealing a melancholic glimpse of what is hidden underneath. The messages might have a large scale of purposes from love messages to political statements or graffiti tags.

Although, whatever was expressed with these writings, is no longer visible, because the clean facades of the streets were visually harmed by that and they are painted over by the owner of the buildings or the city authorities for the claim of damaging the personal or public property. During the gezi park events in 2013 thick grey paint was used by the municipality to hide political slogans and neutralize the place of protesting. Some of this grey still remains in the city like a subtle memory of those events, some were painted over, written over and painted over again. Regardless of the fact that this practice has been applied a lot during Gezi, this temporary solutions of overpainting indicate all over the city the issue of the public tolerance to this way of self-expression through the building facades in Istanbul.

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