December 22 - January 9| Young Photographers Exhibition in Istanbul

December 9|  Screening of Winter Sleep

September 19 - October 19| The Built Environment, Lower East Side in Istanbul

May 20, 2014| Threshold - A Staged Reading by Hasan Erkek

May 16 - 25, 2014| 13th New York Turkish Film Festival

May 15, 2014| Young Photographers Award Open Call Application Deadline

May 2-3, 2014| Sakinan Göze Çöp Batar (An Overprotected Eye Always Gets Sand in it)

April 1, 2014| Deadline for SVA Summer Residency Scholarship

January 16 - March 1, 2014| Private Matters organized by Ceren Erdem, Jaime Schwartz, and Lisa Hayes Williams

November 12-30, 2013 | 2013 Young Photographers Exhibition in Istanbul at The Elipsis Gallery

August 2, 2013 | 13th NYTFF Film Submission Deadline

July 27-28| "Oasis" Presented by NY2Dance at Ailey Citigroup Theater

May 2013| 2013 YPA Winner Announcement

March 21| Deadline for SVA Summer Residency Scholarship Applications

November 30, 2012| Priene Hali Benefit Sale

August 26, 2012| Korhan Basaran performance at the Wild Project

June 27, 2012| 2012 SVA Open Studios

March 30-September 15, 2012| "Films About Conscience" Open Call

April 27-May 10, 2012| "The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey" at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

January 4-17, 2012| "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" at Film Forum 

January 4-15, 2012 | "Lick but Don't Swallow," by Ozen Yula

November 5-18, 2011 | "Young Photographers Award" Exhibition 

November 11, 2011|Kardes Turkuler Music Workshop

November 11, 2011| Asli Çavuşoğlu: Words Dash Against the Façade

November 13, 2011 Kardes Turkuler in Concert with Arto Tuncboyaciyan  feat. Special Guest Ara Dinkjian

October 15, 2011| Application Deadline for Call for Short Films: "Films about Conscience" Project

October 8, 2011|Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan at NYFF

July 13-16, 2011 | "For Rent," by Ozen Yula    

June 2011 | Summer Residency Program at SVA

May 2011 | "Young Photographers Award" winner announcement

April 11 | Summer Residency Program at SVA Application Deadline

March 25&27 | Public Screening of Majority (Cogunluk)

December 3-5, 10-12 | 12th New York Turkish Film Festival

October-November 2010 | Turkish Film Screenings in Ithaca (NY), Madison (MI), Milwaukee (MI) and Seattle (WA)

August 5, 2010 | Summer Residency Program: Open Studios & Exhibition



« 2013 Young Photographers Award Results | Main | "Young Photographers Award" Exhibition - November 5-18 in Istanbul »

2012 Young Photographers Award Winners


On behalf of Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society, we are pleased to announce  that the winner of the third Young Photographers Award is Duygu Gurcan of Mimar Sinan University, who will receive $5,000 for her award. In addition, honorable mentions will go to Ayse Meltem Yildiz of  Yildiz Technical University  and Alev Ozkan of Mimar Sinan University, who will each receive $2,500. The awards will be used to cover the recipients' tuition and/or photography equipment purchases.

The Young Photographers Award was established by Haluk Soykan in 2010 to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. The program is administered by the Moon and Stars Project and is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by the donors at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In addition, Moon and Stars Project makes an additional $1,000 contribution to the program to support exhibition expenses.

Selection Process

The winners were selected by Anne Havinga, Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs, and Karen Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs, both from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, who made the following statement about the selection process:

"It was a great privilege to be asked to jury the Young Photographers Award once again this year. As photography curators in an American museum we don’t often have the opportunity to see work made by young, emerging artists in foreign countries and very rarely are we able to study actual prints this way. We appreciate the challenges and expense that these Turkish university students faced in producing their photographs and shipping them to the U.S. for us to judge, because we benefited greatly from the experience of viewing their prints and reading the explanatory texts that accompanied them at the same time. The great breadth of this work, which ranged from social documentary, on one end of the spectrum, to highly subjective and expressive imagery, on the other, reminded us afresh of Turkey’s rich tradition of reportage and photojournalism, but also of the many international influences that inspire the look of young artists’ work today.  

This year there were 15 applicants from 10 different photography programs across Turkey and the overall caliber of the work was very high. As was the case last year, choosing just one prize winner was very difficult, so we were very pleased to again be able to recognize two additional artists whose photographs really spoke to us and we felt deserved honorable mention.

The winner of this year’s Young Photographer’s Award, Duygu Gurcan, showed a stunning group of digital color prints capturing the lines of laundry that still can be found strung across empty lots and between buildings in her native Istanbul. The inability of most urban dwellers today to dry their clothes in the open air has come to symbolize for the artist the loss of more than simply green spaces in contemporary cities. For Duygu Gurcan the colorful, dancing shapes of the laundry juxtaposed against the anonymous, stacked-up forms of the city’s urban renewal projects emphasize the rapid transformation of her surroundings and the dramatic impact that this wave of modernization has had on Istanbul’s citizens.

We were also drawn to the work of Ayse Meltem Yildiz, whose lovely, large digital prints record the hands of her aged subjects holding photographs of themselves from a much earlier moment in their lives. These unusual sepia-toned portraits-within-portraits are meant to stand as witness to each sitter’s most powerful visual memories and have earned her our first honorable mention. They are particularly striking, because their contrasts are often quite vivid: for example, in one, the weathered hand of an old woman points to her own face in a crumpled class portrait of beautiful young nurses set off against an equally rough-hewn surface, and in another, an elderly man’s hand rests on a frame filled with lively snapshots of himself as an actor, dressed in cowboy gear and obviously playing to the camera.

The second honorable mention goes to Alev Ozkan, who hopes to make her mark as a documentary photographer and here has chronicled the lives of a group of miners in Zonguldak, an area on the Black Sea whose main industry is coal. Her velvety dark prints and long exposures perfectly capture both the mysterious beauty and the dangerous reality of the work carried out by these men. In the majority of her pictures the workers appear in groups, their individual features lost in the low light of the mines and the glow of their headlamps and flashlights, but in one, at least, a miner is shown close-up, his challenging stare directed at the viewer and his face and clothing covered in coal dust.

Participating Universities

We congratulate Duygu Gurcan, Ayse Meltem Yildiz, Alev Ozkan, and all other participants and wish them continued success in their future endeavors. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the teaching staff of the following departments for nominating candidates from their respective institutions:
  • Akdeniz University Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Photography
  • Bahcesehir University Faculty of Communications, Department of Photography and Video
  • Bilgi University Photography and Video Department
  • Dokuz Eylul University Department of Photography
  • Halic University Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Kocaeli University Department of Photography
  • Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Photography
  • Sabanci University Visual Arts and Visual Communications Design
  • Yeditepe University Department of Visual Communication Design
  • Yildiz Technical University Department of Photography and Video

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