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Vol. 3:  Saudade

Anchor 1

Familiar Strangers on The Rocks

Aylin Sayek

Found photos. Stashed in the dusty corners of second hand shops, the inevitable sad end for photographs. I bought them, solely because I felt I was saving them from disappearance. I slowly became a collector of lost memories.

Nowadays, you shoot thousands of images, share them, store them, and then delete them when you don’t like them anymore. They have become fast moving consumer goods.

Found photos, on the contrary, are so permanent. So permanent in fact that I, a stranger, ended up finding them. I collect found photos wondering what will become of our own photos of our happy moments. These pictures of rocky shorelines (used as a background to a selection of my found photo collection) are from my favorite summer moments. Strangers from a different era, traveling to my favorite summer moments.

I believe we all long for the past. Social media is full of photos taken with filters to make them look like old photos. We try so hard to turn digital into analog. But none of those so-called vintage filters reflect the feeling of old photos with their jagged edges, warm colours, grainy quality.

The old concept of photography, its privacy and intimacy, has completely changed. We no longer take photos to make a photo album or write the date and a personal note on the back. Social media - which is based on sharing - opened up the doors of digital world and we forgot the pleasure of taking a lasting picture.

I’ve read that nostalgia has psychological benefits; that it serves as a tool for helping people overcome life’s hardships. Nostalgia is beyond melancholy; to remember old familiar feelings, the past, and childhood is emotionally reassuring. Some can say some of the photos are bittersweet, I can understand. 

Looking at people’s lives from a long long time ago, feels so distant and unknown, yet so close and familiar. I look at these photos and see ‘a life lived and enjoyed.’

Aylin Sayek studied Industrial Design in Middle East Technical University and has an MA in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College. She worked as a design writer for newspapers and magazines in Turkey, an event planner for many art and design exhibitions, a designer and communications consultant for many brands. She has been collecting found photos and loving nostalgia for as long as she can remember. She lives between Arsuz, Hatay, and Istanbul. Instagram @tanidikyabancilar

Familiar Strangers 2
Familiar Strangers 4
Familiar Strangers 1
Familiar Strangers 3
Familiar Strangers 5
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