28 December 2020

Everyday Moments of Isolation and Detachment

28 December 2020 - Written by PhMuseum

In what started with a single photograph that deeply penetrated his life and his memory, Turkish photographer Ali Beşikçi captures scenes that reflect upon what he calls the “in-between” situations of daily life.

A couple of years ago I received by mail some rolls of film which I had left at my photo lab sometime before. Everything was as I expected, except for a single roll of medium format film. I had absolutely no memory of taking one of the photos on that roll while the rest was totally familiar. The more I looked at that photo, the more I got lost. I couldn’t understand where or when it was taken. It didn’t look like anything I’d shot before. The image is out of focus and blurred in only one corner where a man seems to be walking towards the camera and a woman follows him. Their clothes recall the ’50s, and their faces are unclear. The place looks like the entrance of a mansion and reminded me of a post-funeral scene, or maybe a wedding. Even though I continued looking at the image for months, I couldn’t figure out where it came from.

I was at war with my memory. Photography had turned against me. My efforts at capturing the situation had turned inside out, leaving me with confusion and ambiguity. A moment of clearness gave way to skepticism. Once again, I started reflecting on why I photograph and on the scenes and subjects that I get immersed in. I often find myself attracted to the in-between situations in the landscape of isolation and detachment in society. There is something that fascinates me about how we handle those moments of daily purgatory. I don’t usually photograph people but when I do, I find myself in some ways looking for their “ghosts”.

This time, they seem to have found me.

Words and Pictures by Ali Beşikçi.


Ali Beşikçi (Istanbul,1997) studies Arts, History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Bologna. In 2017, his first photo-book “In Between” was published by Ofset Yapimevi in Istanbul while in 2018, he realised a photo-zine in collaboration with Fabrika Zine & Fail Books. In the same year, he founded Zone Magazine, a contemporary photography magazine that aims to cultivate a variety of dialogues between artists and their audience, as well as supporting them with printed and online publications. Find him 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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