ZILAN IMSIK


















Photography

Where Is Home? (Ongoing)
Chasing The Past
     Digging Through 
Saudade
   

Video

Feelings of Persecution

Portraits
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Where Is Home? (Work in Progress)

A long time ago my grandparents were displaced from Tunceli, their homeland in Eastern Turkey. Over the years Kurds in Tunceli have faced injustices at the hands of many different governments, including oppression, resettlement and massacres, and so my grandparents eventually settled in Istanbul, where I was born, and they never returned. Growing up as a minority in a city and a country that is sometimes very unfriendly to Kurds, I am searching for my identity and homeland not in a physical sense, but in the sense of belonging. Who am I, where am I from and what does it mean to be Kurdish?

The project takes place in my ancestral village in Tunceli, which is almost deserted. Most of the inhabitants have left, and every year more of the young people leave for other places, with only the old remaining.

The inhabitants of Tunceli adhere to the Alevi religion, a heterodox variant of Islam with clear traces of pre-Islamic religion and Christianity. The Alevis are a religious minority in Turkey, and Kurdish Alevis like my family are a minority within a minority.

This is the story of my family, and of what remains of our homeland.