If There is No Community, There is No City

Interview with Murat Germen

If There is No Community, There is No City

Interview with Murat Germen

Murat Germen: Facsimile, Hong Kong #5, 2014.

Public space directs how we live and act, how we socialize and even protest. If there is no community and solidarity there is no city, no civilization; there can only be a »city-state« as the modern version of an empire, says Murat Germen, photographer known for his critical view on the home-town of Istanbul. Muta-morphosis, probably one of his most famous series, uses digital manipulation to show a dark vision of future cities: buildings cramed together as in a strange and dangerous mutation process, almost melting as objects in Dali’s paintings. Through his artworks, text and lectures, Murat Germen criticizes excessive urbanization, motivated by capital and not by human needs. He also documented Gezi Park protests, in which the political aspect of managing the city became very apparent. His photos can be understood as a visual protest and Murat Germen thinks some of them may turn into visual evidence of the urban crime committed by the present Turkish government since 2002, when it came to power.

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If artistic creation can be considered as an astral trip to the outer space, planning and architecture education taught me how to come back to the Earth.
Reading time: 17 min.

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