When we think of Turkey, the last thing that comes to mind is survival on the bare necessities, utterly detached from the kind of technology that has risen to a state of status quo for many. Turkish photographer Nadir Bucan wandered among the remote mountain villages of Turkey’s Van region for six years, documenting every moment of hardship and beauty in the midst of nature’s unmitigated presence.
For his project entitled, In the Shadow of the Sun, Bucan had this to say: “I moved to the Van region in 2010 to work as a photography teacher at the Yüzüncü Yıl University. Of course I was also aware that Van has witnessed many cultures and peoples and is marked profoundly by its traditional villages, mountains, lakes, and islands. As a photographer this was definitely something I wanted to explore. And then there was the ever-present sun, which the ancient Urartu must have been inspired by when they named the region ‘Tuşba,’ (the city of the sun). And so in 2011, I entitled my project In The Shadow of the Sun, and began to explore hidden lives. I use the word hidden, because once I traversed the steep paths and reached remote mountain villages such as Toreli, Bilgi, and Uzuntekne, I was greeted with a kind of lifestyle very few of us have ever witnessed. I really see these hidden lives as the antithesis of our technology driven culture.