All posts filed under: Istanbul

Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul

My heart to the victims, their friends and family as well as the people of Istanbul and Turkey after today’s suicide bombing on Istiklal Caddesi, Europe’s busiest street, a major pedestrian thoroughfare aligned with shops and restaurants that cuts through the heart of the Beyoglu district from Taksim Square to the ferry boat terminals of Karaköy. There are more bombings and senseless deaths today in the world than the imagination could have dreamt possible at the close of the last century. Often they occur far from home, but every day it seems they dream up new ways to manage to bring it ever closer to home, wherever home is. Some of us have seen our cities struck, our friends hurt, killed, maimed or disappeared into the abyss of wars and attacks of the age of terror. For me, Istiklal is close to home because it was home. Images from my archive of Istiklal in better times showcase the avenue as at the center of political, social and economic life in Istanbul:

Etem Erol, 1955-2016

The last message I had from Etem hoca was just a few days before he passed away. I had a night layover in Istanbul on my way to Odessa for two months and I asked if he wanted to join some friends for dinner, so naturally I invited Etem, as I had not been back to the city I called home for two years in over a year. He wrote to say he regretted he could not make it that he was leaving early that same morning for Bulgaria with his brother. It was in Bulgaria, I came to learn just a few nights ago from a classmate and fellow student in his Elementary Turkish I class so many years ago, that he had a heart attack and died in his brother’s arms. He was so young, 60, and with so much life and so much still to give. I write this with tears streaming down my face and it’s been more than a day now since I heard this really excruciatingly painful news. It …


12 days of Christmas, 12 months in the year, 12 days to go until the new year, 12 prints to put under the tree and then on a wall… Through the New Year, I am offering a dozen of my favorite images culled from the last three years of my “best of” annual blog posts showcasing my favorite images from the year. All prints are signed. Sale is on from now until January 1, 2016. My way of saying thank you for supporting my work and hope you will continue to! You can choose from the following prints: “Baku Billionaire Ibrahim Ibrahimov at Breakfast” Location: Baku, Azerbaijan “Creation Museum” Location: Petersburg, Kentucky, USA “Never Forget September 11 and Budweiser” Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA “Foreign Domestic Workers, Cyprus” Location: Nicosia, Cyprus “Gezi Park Protests Popcorn Vendor” Location: Istanbul, Turkey “Offshore Oil Platform Sails Into the Caspian” Location: Baku, Azerbaijan “An Avar Woman in the Cornfield” Location: Danaci, Azerbaijan “An Avar Family on a Motorcycle and Sidecar” Location: Danaci, Azerbaijan “Avar Schoolchildren on the First Day …

Open Society Foundations Voices Blog: After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home

Voices | Q + A After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home October 16, 2015 Antonia Zafieri American photographer Amanda Rivkin has been photographing refugees as they transit from Syria to Europe. Recently, she posted several of these photos to the Open Society Instagram feed. Here, she talks about her experience documenting the refugees’ stories, and what she’s observed of their attempts to settle into new lives far from their original homes. Why did you pursue this story? I pursued the story of the recent exodus to Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere for no reason other than it was there. I lived in Turkey for two years and never covered refugees as an issue per se, although refugees were everywhere in Istanbul at the time. Some were also my friends. If there was a crack between two buildings, it was as if you could find three Syrian families living there. But I think there is so much of this biblical, dramatic imagery that we forget that Syria—emptying out …

The Phoblographer ISO 400: Amanda Rivkin Talks About Photojournalism Internationally

“In this episode of ISO 400, we hear from Amanda Rivkin, an American photojournalist currently based in Chicago who has a wealth of international experience, having worked in places like Azerbaijan, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey. She’s been published in a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Le Monde and Newsweek among others. She has a deep understanding of storytelling and an eye for subtlety that you don’t often find in news photographs.” View Julius‘ blog post and watch the video on The Phoblographer.

Best of 2013: My Year in Pictures

This was my first full year based in Istanbul, Turkey, a city I have long dreamed of calling home since I was a student of Ottoman history in college. While my Turkish could still stand to see some improvement, I have begun to get a foothold in a complex region and see many of the corners of Eastern Europe I previously had not. In February, my work photographing the Khazar Islands, a $100 billion fantasy real estate project of Azerbaijani oligarch Ibrahim Ibrahimov, appeared in The New York Times Magazine. Later in the year, it would be republished again in Mare magazine in Germany. While shot in the summer of 2012, I have chosen to start the year in pictures with some of my favorite images from this shoot, due to my desire to continue photographing the Khazar Islands and the initial publication of this work in the early part of this year. In January, I took a road trip through the American deep south to explore “post-racial America” and the tensions that exist beneath …

2013 Poynter Fellowship at Yale University

A few months back, I was notified that I was named the recipient of a Poynter Fellowship at Yale University to give a talk this fall on my work photographing “Protests, Pipelines + Women” in Turkey and Azerbaijan at Yale University. I will be joined by economics professor Tolga Koker. The talk is sponsored by the University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. The date is now set for October 1, 2013 at 4pm in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, Yale University. The talk is free and open to the public. More information is available on the Yale University website. Yale Daily News article, “Photojournalist Discusses Travels, Gender“.