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Black walls of Istanbul in photo exhibit

Posted on 4 October 2011

Poster ZIFT exhibition

On October 7 the Dutch photographer Arjen J. Zwart will open his photo exhibition titled “ZIFT” (tar) in the Cezayir building at the Hayriye Caddesi 12 Galatasaray (Beyoglu).

The series demonstrates another view on the city with its black facades and is the second of a triptych about Istanbul on which Arjen is working.

Arjen Zwart (1957) – freelance photographer (the Netherlands) – is specialized in documentary – and conceptual photography.

Besides his personal projects, he is working for newspapers, magazines and ngo’s. Arjen’s photo works have been exhibited in Europe and Turkey.

In 1986 Arjen visited Istanbul for the first time. He was deeply impressed by its history and people. But it wasn’t until 2001 that he returned to Istanbul. There he encountered a Roma family which inspired him to start a photo project covering the life of the family during a time span of 15 years.

One of the walls covered with tar

Besides this project he started to explore the city extensively. Strolling on foot through the back streets of Istanbul, he discovered many hidden gems which are not mentioned in any travel guide.

The “Zift” series, which will be exhibited in the Cezayir building, demonstrates another view on the city with its black facades.

With the exhibition a photo book will be launched.

‘It was in 1986/87 on a journey to India that I became interested in the possibilities photography has to offer”, he says. “Looking across borders made me aware of my roots and surroundings. It was at the same time that I became interested in social documentary. I started to make photographs of the villagers in the village where I lived.’

The product of that project was his first photo book “Achter de eerste paal”, about the sea village landscape at Egmond aan Zee in the Netherlands, published in 1999.

In India he has documented the daily life of the rickshaw pullers in Calcutta.

Arjen Zwart is living in Istanbul where he gives workshops in street photography as well.


Where: Cezayir

Address: Hayriye Caddesi No. 12 Galatasaray (Beyoğlu)

When: The exhibition is open from 8th till 29th of October


GSM: +90 541 201 6671

Office: +90 212 2931903


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