I am in Istanbul, experimenting with a new project. It’s long and difficult to explain but it goes along the lines of: some human settlements (for example the megapolis Istanbul, located in one of the earth’s most active seismic areas) are built in a way or at a place that is prone to destruction of apocalyptic dimensions. Global change made more humans settle in improper places and accumulate more possessions and assets than ever before, multiplying the hazard. We know that most of the houses in Istanbul won’t stand any more in 50 or 100 years – either because they were replaced by quake proof constructions or because they were ruined by an earth quake. Seismologists say the risk of a 7.6-magnitude earthquake striking Istanbul by 2030 is seventy percent. Worst-case scenarios see 40 percent hit by an earthquake with 5 million people affected. Best case scenarios see ‘only’ 10’000 houses collapse and 1.5 million people affected.
Photographically and morally, it is a difficult topic to work on. Nobody wants, e.g., take portraits of people that live in a building that is classified as highly earthquake vulnerable. Since I arrived first in Istanbul, I was thinking of how to include the sure quake in my work on Istanbul. Now, some years later, I schemed a project on the evident apocalypse of Istanbul. (I’ll keep you updated as things develop.)