Last month I went to Eskisehir, Turkey to photograph the Turkvision Song Contest and my agency, VII Photo, has posted the work to their site.
The inaugural Turkvision Song Contest in Eskisehir, Turkey was a chance for the Turkish Republic to show off its pan-Turkic ties and build bridges across Ural-Altaic lands. Turkey withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, citing grievances with the voting procedure. Turkish officials also complained loudly that a lesbian kiss in Finland’s performance was against Turkish values. In 2013, Turkvision was created for Turkic countries and republics from the Balkans, like Bosnia and Kosovo, to compete against Turkic populations in places as far away as the tiny, western Siberian republic of Shoria. Hemlines were longer and cleavage less plentiful than at the Eurovision Song Contest, but participants in Turkvision did not shy away from camp. Altai’s Artur Martlujokov crooned “My Altai” in a white tuxedo with pink stage lights illuminating him, Azerbaijan’s Farid Hasanov wore a one-armed, gloved leather jacket and Tuva’s Saylik Ommun gave a bonkers rock, pop, throat-singing performance in a fur-trimmed leotard. The flashy oil republic of Azerbaijan won the contest in a vote many commentators found to be less than fair. Next year’s contest will be held in the Turkic cultural capital city of Kazan, Russia.