All posts tagged: turkey

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 …

Crossing Borders Picture Fund

CROSSING BORDERS PICTURE FUND Crossing Borders Picture Fund is a print auction to raise funds towards the current refugee/migrant crisis. It is a reaction by a group of photographers to support families being uprooted from their homes in a desperate and urgent need for safety and a better life – many dying in the process of doing so. Not since the World Wars of the first half of the 20th century have we seen such an influx of people crossing international borders in a struggle to survive in order to avert death. This is a not for profit effort to engage with photography on a different level and for a good cause. All money raised will go towards the printing of the images and raising money towards an organization helping refugees/migrants on a major and impactful scale. We hope you will join us. http://www.crossingborderspicturefund.com info@crossingborderspicturefund.com Prints included in the sale from photographers Ed Kashi, Laura El Tantawy, Tanya Habjouqa, Peter Di Campo, Sara Terry, Sim Chiyin, Nichole Sobecki, Laura Boushnak and others. If you purchase …

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 …

Takeover of @OpenSocietyFoundations Instagram Underway!

I am taking over the Open Society Foundations’ Instagram account this week to showcase images from the migration of refugees to Europe in Turkey, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. You can follow their account @opensocietyfoundations and my personal account @amandarivkin where I will be reposting some of my favorite pictures from the week.

*InstArchive* on Instagram

I’m trying something new because I’m American and tradition is boring we are made to think/believe/made to think is make believe. Everyday on my Instagram (@amandarivkin) I am posting a new image from my archive that is paired with a bit of “on this day in world history”. It’s how I’m taking it to the streets, building the ol’ personal brand, sharing my love of history, and finding meaning in my own work. It’s only a few days old but already we’ve been to Davenport, Iowa; Baku, Azerbaijan; Reyhanli, Turkey and today Spotsylvania, Virginia. Czech it out! MAY 9: On May 9, 2012, Obama announced his support for gay marriage in a television interview with Robin Roberts. In this image from my archive, witness Connie Fuller, 39, takes a picture of Rock Island, Illinois couple (l-r) Curtis Harris, 50, and Daren Adkisson, 39, after they picked up their marriage license first thing in the morning at the Scott County Recorder’s Office the first day same sex weddings are legal across Iowa in Davenport, Iowa on …

Best of 2014: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Germany and Sweet Home Chicago

(NOTE: Much of my work from this year remains under embargo until publication including my recent work in Bosnia and Herzegovina with National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Cara Eckholm.) In February, events in Ukraine rapidly spiraled out of control following the peaceful occupation of the central Maidan Niezalezhnosti or Independence Square in Kiev that had begun late in 2013. On the evening of February 18, 2014, the government of Viktor Yanukovych ordered snipers positioned around the square to fire on demonstrators. The gunfire continued intermittently, killing dozens for two days until it stopped. Then Yanukovych fled to Russia. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea and sent troops into eastern regions of Ukraine. The government in Kiev has realigned itself with the West and the European Union. In early April, I traveled to Kiev to photograph those who had survived the sniper attacks from February 18-20, 2014 and to hear their stories. I hoped to bring their voice into a conversation about the conflict playing out in the international media and policy circles in Washington and …

After James Foley’s Death, Returning to A Point of Crossing Into Syria for Many

Tragic events this week lead back to a hotel in Kilis, Turkey on the Syrian border I photographed last April for the German newspaper Die Welt. The entire day I spent there, I felt like I was being watched. Any car that pulled up to the front entrance, I immediately sought distance from. And now this story from 2013, “Hotel Wahnsinn,” finds its way into a piece, “Was U.S. Journalist Steven Sotloff A Marked Man?” for The Daily Beast by Ben Taub, who was the first person I met when I walked into the lobby of the Hotel Istanbul in search of three protagonists an editor had passed on to me for the story. * * * My heavy heart to James Foley’s and Steven Sotloff’s friends and family as well as to all the friends and family of others being held in captivity in Syria and Iraq, foreigners as well as Syrians and Iraqis alike. We all deserve a better world than this one. Every single Muslim I know stands opposed to ISIS, so …

Turkvision Song Contest

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, …