Main Trends / Topics
The key to success for a photographer in Turkey unfortunately relies mostly on international appreciation. He/she needs to first prove himself/herself on the international scene, which isn’t easy.
Even though the number of photographers, represented by emerging galleries and agents, has considerably risen in the last 5 years, the artistic promotion and their cultural marketing continue to be insufficient, as those galleries and agents have limited financial resources themselves. All the artistic relations, and consequently success depends on personal networks and individual efforts.
The established circle of photographers is trying to help each other out by creating collectives or different platforms to share their network and connections. REC Collective is a newly founded collective that is based on this strategy.
Photography is now widely accepted as a career path and an increasing number of universities and fine arts schools offer a photography education in their curriculum. Consequently, there are more and more professionals in the field, as well as museums and galleries where these professionals can exhibit their work to the general public. When it comes to actual professionals of this art, there are a few renowned Turkish photographers who cleared their way up to the international arena from previous generations, however, many talented and successful Turkish photographers are hardly even recognized in their own country, yet they travel abroad more frequently to work compared to the others. Unfortunately, the main discussions revolving around photography are still centered on the technical aspects of the art such as print size, quality, or camera, which is a source of concern for the photographers that limits them to transcend their work to the creative realm. Photography academia is also highly focused on the technical aspects of the art; hence the academic books published or translated are mainly about the technological aspect of the art. Artistic publications are almost without exception self-financed by artists, and magazines of this type cannot survive long.
There is much to be done in order for Turkish photography to level up to its European counterparts, and areas of development are vast though there is no shortage of talented photographers who are passionately dedicated to this art as a way of life.
In the part Sub-disciplines we will first give an overview of the principal actors and agents who support the development of this art.