22 July 2019

A Portrait of Turkey's Generation Y

22 July 2019 - Written by PhMuseum

In these strong black and white images, Cansu Yıldıran allows us to enter the her life in the Anatolian peninsula. Questioning her own identity and her surrounding reality, photography becomes the only means to process those experiences and find her own place in the world.

The region that I am used to be considered from was once the bridge between the East and the West. Now, it’s more Middle Eastern. I believe this was triggered as a result of the post-2000s’ changing political climate as well as war and migration across the Middle East.

These changes all coincided with the development and self-exploration of Generation Y, which I am a part of. As this situation affects people’s living spaces, the development process that Generation Y goes through is also affected. Those who belong to this generation grow up in a more conservative way in Central and Eastern Anatolia, while a whole different story goes on in the West. The west of Turkey has a diverse population because of heavy migration from the east that is caused by war and economic problems.

Eventually, this situation becomes a major factor in the identity crisis facing Generation Y in the West. Many people from different cultures and backgrounds migrate to the same place for different social reasons to seek a new life. They carry their own backgrounds and culture with them to the place they migrate. They form a new life with the people they feel relevant to in terms of their own mindset, culture, and identity.

I wanted to talk about the stories of people who were marginalised because of their sexual identities and lifestyles among the groups that could be counted as a community. One of the basic reasons for this is that I feel close to these communities in ways of thinking, feeling, and living. From an external perspective, the most basic concern of these groups is to exist. The right-wing conservative lifestyle, which encroaches upon increasingly habitable areas, and the consequences of political power lead these groups and identities to further close in. There are many justifiable reasons for this, from the subconscious to social alienation and even lynching.

For this reason, when these identities get smaller and smaller every day, I want to tell the process and changes of the Generation Y which has the most fluid structure. That's what motivates me when I go out.

Words and Pictures by .


Cansu Yıldıran is a Turkish photographer based in Istanbul. She uses her personal experiences as a starting point to explore subjects ranging from belonging to discrimination against social classes, culture, gender or sexual identity. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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