Ankara University Faculty of Communications hosts world famous photographers

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News | 10/14/2005 12:00:00 AM | ELİF KARADENİZLİ

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary of establishment, the Ankara University Faculty of Communications, one of the most prominent departments of communications in Turkey, hosts

On the 40th anniversary of its establishment, the Ankara University Faculty of Communications (İLEF), one of the most prominent departments of communications in Turkey, is to host two important panels on photography to be attended by world-famous photographers.

With the participation of Nicos Economopoulos and Alex Webb of Magnum Photos, Reza Deghati of National Geographic and Ara Güler, photography lovers will have an opportunity to discuss photography as an art form and as an eye that records images of history.

The first panel discussion, “The Orient and Photography: The West Takes Photos of the East,” will be held on Oct. 17 at the Conference Hall of the European Societies Research Center (ATAUM) at Ankara University's Cebeci Campus, starting at 2:00 p.m.

The main subjects of the panel to be discussed include contemporary Western photographers' perspective of the East as an “image,” and the Eastern photographers' ways to express themselves and their ideas by their photos. Additional topics to be discussed during the panel will focus on the development of Oriental discourse, which expanded significantly in the middle of the 19th century, as well as Oriental tendencies of contemporary photographers. Another important sub-title to be discussed is the change in the meaning of “Orientalism” over the past 150 years, since the invention of photography.

The panel, which to will be led by Professor Jale Erzen of Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), will be attended by Economopoulos and Webb of Magnum Photos, Deghati of National Geographic, Ara Güler and numerous other award-winning Turkish photographers.

‘What is Ara Looking for?'

The second panel will be a discussion of the photographic discourse of Ara Güler, the world-renowned Turkish photographer and will be conducted by architect Mimar Ragıp. The panel “What Ara is Looking For?” will be held on Oct. 18, also at the Conference Hall of the European Societies Research Center (ATAUM) at Ankara University's Cebeci Campus at 2:00 p.m. The panel will be attended by photographer Güler herself, writer and poet Enis Batur and Samih Rıfat. During the panel, photographs taken by Güler are to be discussed and analyzed from the perspectives of their social context and history. One of the topics of the panel is the impact of Güler's pieces, which have been taken over a 55-year period, on the collective social memory.

More about attendees:

Nicos Economopoulos:

He was born in Peloponnisos, Greece. He studied law in Parma, Italy, and worked as a journalist for Greek daily papers and magazines for many years. He began taking photographs in 1979, and until 1988, practiced photography as an amateur. He abandoned journalism in that year to devote himself to photography and for the next two years traveled throughout Greece and Turkey taking pictures.

In 1990 he joined Magnum, and his photographs began to appear in newspapers and magazines around the world. In the same year he started to take photographs throughout the rest of the Balkans (Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia), which led to his receiving of the "Mother Jones Award" (San Francisco, CA) for his work in progress.

In 1997-98 he photographed the inhabitants of the "Green Line" region in Cyprus, the illegal emigrants on the Greek-Albanian border, and young people in the city of Tokyo. At the same time he worked in Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, Corsica, and the Greek-Turkish border.

From 1999 to 2000 he covered the mass escape of the Albanians from Kosovo and took photos in the Czech Republic, France, Scotland and Istanbul.

In 2000 he completed a book project commissioned by the University of the Aegean for which he photographed about 70 storytellers on 25 Aegean islands. He also started photographing again in Turkey for the purpose of completing a long-term personal project on the country, which he has been working on for the last 15 years.

In 2001 he received the Abdi Ipekçi award, for promoting peace and friendship between Greek and Turkish people. His partial bibliography includes these books:

“In the Balkans” Abrams, New York 1995”Balkans Libro” Athens, 1995”Anasa ...”  Polygram, Athens 1997”Lignite Miners” Indiktos, Athens 1998”Dance ex Machina” Difono, Athens 2000”About Children” Metaixmio, Athens 2001

Alex Webb:

Born in San Francisco in 1952, Alex Webb became interested in photography during his high school years. He majored in history and literature at Harvard University and studied photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Webb attended the Apeiron Workshops in 1972; he began working as a professional photojournalist in 1974. His photographs began to appear in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, Life, Geo, and eventually in Stern and National Geographic.

Webb joined Magnum Photos as an associate member in 1976, becoming a full member in 1979. He has published four books: “Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds” and “Under A Grudging Sun,” both published by Thames and Hudson and, “From the Sunshine State and Amazon” and “From the Floodplains to the Clouds,” both published by the Monacelli Press. Webb has received numerous awards from esteemed foundations and competitions from all around the world.

Ara Güler: Güler was born in Istanbul in 1928. He started to work in film studios in Istanbul and also attended theatre courses given by Muhsin Ertuğrul. In 1950 he started his career in journalism at the Yeni Istanbul newspaper. Since then he has been known as one of the “seven best photographers in the world.” He was listed as such in the Photography Annual in Britain in 1961. Ara Güler's photographs were exhibited at the New York Modern Arts Exhibition in 1968. He also produced a film titled, “The End of the Hero,” a fictional work based on the dismantling of the Yavuz Battleship. Some special issues of books have been printed about his works and exhibitions have been held. He also boasts quite a list of honors and awards.

“Ara Güler's Creative Americans”; “Ara Güler: Photographs”; “Ara Güler's Movie Directors”; “Sinan: Architect of Süleyman the Magnificent”; and “Living in Turkey” are among the books comprising Güler's studies.

Reza Deghati:

Deghati was born in Tabriz, Iran, in 1952. At 14 he began to teach himself the principles of photography. He later studied architecture at the University of Tehran.

From 1971 to 1978 he photographed rural society and architecture in his homeland. The Iranian revolution shifted his focus from the countryside, and he covered the conflict for the Agence French-Presse (AFP).

His work for the AFP attracted the attention of Newsweek, for whom he became a correspondent in Iran from 1978 to 1981. He then became a Middle East correspondent for Time from 1983 to 1988. From 1989 to 1990 he served as a consultant to the United Nations humanitarian program in Afghanistan.

Reza's first full coverage for National Geographic magazine was “Cairo: Clamorous Heart of Egypt,” published in April 1993. Since then he has photographed “Turkey Struggles for Balance” (May 1994); “Xinjiang” (March 1996); “The Silk Road's Lost World” (March 1996); “Pilgrimage to China's Buddhist Caves” (April 1996); “The Imperiled Nile Delta” (January 1997); and “The Rise and Fall of the Caspian Sea” (May 1999).




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