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Becoming a Monument

A few years ago, my aunt gave me my grandfather's photo album and his old camera. It hadn't been used since he died in the 1960's. I took it to an old photographer in the Sirkeci neighborhood in Istanbul, to have it repaired. I took a couple of pictures of my father's family. I wanted them to look at that camera again. The film is still in the camera and I am here (USA) and the camera is there, back at home.

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In the album, some images captured my attention more than others, especially the ones where he was setting up the tripod and taking self-portraits. One is on top of a broken Greek column, another in the gap between two columns in a modernist pavillion, another in gardens. He lived in two cities and in two countries all his life: Pristine, Kosovo, and Izmir, Turkey. Here in Turkey he was an immigrant becoming a part of the city, a part of the architecture, a part of nature, making images of his identity for himself to look at. The one who didn't belong, but wanted to belong was for a moment a monument and permanent in the image. 


When I came to Providence, the only thing that brought me here, that I knew here, was the medium of glass. So like my grandfather, I transformed myself into a monument for a second and made a permanent image of it, becoming a part of the place. 

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