Featured People: Jon Davis and Kemal Vural Tarlan

As the Syria in Transit exhibition opens its doors in London, we feature British producer Jon Davis and Turkish photographer Kemal Vural Tarlan. The exhibition by the two TANDEM participants reveals through photography, sound and video, the hope and desperation of the lives lived in transit, capturing the stories of Syrians remaining on the edge of war in Turkey and those attempting the dangerous journey across Europe to the UK.

Kemal Vural Tarlan, a social documentary photographer and co-founder of Kirkayak Arts Centre in Gaziantep, Turkey, highlights the limbo-like state of becoming a refugee and states that the photos in ‘Syria in Transit’ portray this moment. On his essay regarding the project, Tarlan notes:

“These people, whose hearts are in Aleppo and Damascus but physically somewhere else, live very near us. It takes just one step to reach out and touch a wounded heart, just one step away to fall into a refugee’s dream.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that “being an asylum-seeker or a refugee” is a universal human right.”

Jon Davis, Producer at LIFT in London, UK, adds that

“the photos and stories in this exhibition aim to capture this process of transit, the frenzied border crossings and the stationary paralysis. The images of coffee and cigarettes, of bare rooms and tired faces all tell the stories of those who have suffered and who have had to ‘settle in to transit’.”

Speaking to the Newham Recorder, Davis relates his hope that the exhibition “will reveal the very desperate situation of those who are in transit and migrants and the difficulties that they face in finding a permanent home.”

Syria in Transit Exhibition will be open to public in the UK and Turkey in the following dates:

  • Rich Mix, London: 23rd August – 6th September 2014
  • Kirkayak Arts Centre, Gaziantep: 20th September – 20th October 2014

TANDEM – Cultural Managers Exchange Turkey- European Union is an initiative of the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam), MitOst (Berlin), Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul), and supported by Stiftung Mercator (Essen). ‘Syria in Transit’ is supported by LIFT (London) and Kirkayak Arts Centre (Gaziantep).

Featured People: Jon Davis and Kemal Vural Tarlan