Blog - Category Archives: Cities

Turkey – Lives In Transition

Lives In Transition - Turkey

Turkey is not only divided as a country between the western and eastern cultures, but a rift goes right through the middle of it because of its rapid, and uneven, development to become an industrial nation. Continued economic growth of nearly 8% means that centres of industry and trade are developing a break-neck speed, while time, and progress, stand still in rural communities. The consequences of this transition are most visible in its economic and geographical form: young Turks leaving their villages to take on one of the many available jobs in the city while the government is frantically trying to keep up with this economic migration by building colossal housing estates that can accommodate hundres of thousands. However, Turkey’s transition goes far beyond the visible – the whole Turkish way of life is under attack. Religion and tradition are crumbling, women are discovering their rights and finding their voice, busy bazaars are being replaced by glass-and-concrete shopping malls. In the streets of Istanbul, homosexuality is starting to make first public appearances.

Life is good among the super rich Istanbullus who display their newly-found wealth willingly. Money is no object for many Turks in the overpriced shopping malls of Taksim. The mix of traditionalism and unbridled consumerism suggests a comparison with Beirut. After a hard day of shopping, dinner is served at one of the suave and lavish eateries while male belly dancers wiggle their bodies between tables.

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Homeless in Dehradun

Street children in Dehradun, India

Dehradun (India) has a vast population of children that its fast economic development has left behind. Without home, education and care, these children roam the streets in search of garbage and handouts. Many children are forced to beg by their own families, themselves without income or home. Because children with disabilities have more begging potential, parents sometimes mutilate their own children. Other children simply abandon their home due to violence and drug abuse by their parents.

The problem is set to worsen in a growing population and a rapidly widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor.

Self-help groups and NGOs, such as the Aasraa Trust by Shaila Brijnath, try to provide a measure of care and education with limited funds and often using personal savings, to help children build a future that is worth living. Their efforts a routinely sabotaged by begging children’s parents who depend on their income. Without an education that is enabling children to enter the job market, it seems impossible to break this spiral.

Check the portfolio section for a smaller photo selection and a video…

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Cup of chai, camera, and off you go…

The streets of Uttarakhand

Grab your stuff and photograph the extraordinary life stories that unfold every single day in the streets of Dehradun, India…

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Old Delhi

Life in Old DelhiLiving in the city – Indian style. A school boy spoke to me while I was loitering at a street corner. ” You will probably find it difficult to survive here”, he announced. Hm, can’t argue with that if even Indians find that hard…

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New York

New York

New York – street photo series of one of the most iconic places in the world.

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Amsterdam Nightscapes

Amsterdam NightscapesLong shutter speeds to capture those peaceful moments before sunrise when the city is still asleep…

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Cape Town Streetkids

Cape Town StreetkidsCape Town has many children who roam the streets to beg for food. Broken-down families and repeated abuse by their parents drive them out of their homes to search for a better life in the streets. Growing up in the streets, many children become early drug addicts and develop destructive behavioral patterns such as aggression. NGOs scramble to provide a level of care to such run-aways by providing food and shelter. Other efforts are directed at counseling those families at risk to prevent children abandoning their families. Such efforts are unlikely to stem the flow of street children unless some of the root causes of family breakdown, such as widespread alcoholism in the vast poverty-stricken townships like Kayelitsha, can be resolved.

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Holy Cow! Old Delhi

Old Delhi - IndiaWhere to look first and who to dodge first? Disorganized chaos and yet just  normal day in the life of countless Indians who eat, sleep and work here.

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Varanasi – Mother Ganga

The Streets And Ghats Of VaranasiSeries of photographs of the streets and ghats in Varanasi, India. Check out the full slideshow in the porfolio section

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Istanbul – East Meets West

Istanbul - East Meets WestIstanbul’s soul doesn’t quite belong to the Middle East, but it is also not a western city. It has a distinct European feel to it, including the shameless riches of a rapidly growing economy. Well on its way to become a world metropolis, it still has to find its new feet as the former support pillars of religious conservatism are gradually being eroded.

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Paris

ParisA weekend away in the city of love, tourists and too many mediocre restaurants.

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San Francisco

San FranciscoStreet photography of San Francisco, USA.

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