Photography Giuseppe Scianna Shows Us A Turkey Still In Pieces
Photography

Giuseppe Scianna Shows Us A Turkey Still In Pieces

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Giorgia Massari
giuseppe scianna

More than a year has passed since the two quakes of magnitude 6.4 and 5.8 that struck Turkey’s Hatay province. The spotlight has now died down but citizens continue to struggle for survival in inhumane conditions that strain their dignity. There is one photographer, Italian and very young, Giuseppe Scianna, class of ’99, who has decided to document the current situation to once again highlight the conditions of these people. Scianna is a photojournalist based in Sicily, and at the center of his work are often the most difficult social issues. From environmental pollution to life in the suburbs, Scianna has also worked with various NGOs and received the Sony World Photography Awards 2022. But let’s find out more about this project titled Limited Residency.

giuseppe scianna
Ahmed and Treves tries to salvage what he can from what remains of his home. There is often little time because the Turkish state is advancing in the demolition of unsafe buildings.. Ekinci 2023.

«These regions – those of Turkey affected by the earthquake – are inhabited by about four million people, displaced in the various municipalities and other parts of the country, who often live in makeshift settlements lacking any kind of health care,» explains Giuseppe Scianna who chose this area of Turkey – specifically the city of Hatay – to carry out his recent photographic project Limited Residence. «About 70 percent of the injured people have some form of disability,» Scianna continues, «as they do not have access to sanitation, they live in inadequate facilities, and their dignity and right to health are put at risk by the authorities and humanitarian aid.»

giuseppe scianna
The biggest problem concerns access to toilets; the communal facilities are inaccessible to people with poor or no mobility. Unable to go to the latrines, many people with disabilities have to get help from caregivers or depend on diaper supplies. Tavla 2023.

Testimony and empathy

What Giuseppe Scianna shows us in his shots is a Turkey still in pieces. His gaze is always gentle, still as a photojournalist but with an empathy that emerges. Women, children, men-everyone, no one excluded-are the protagonists of this misfortune and of his shots, which highlight on the one hand the strength and adaptability of human beings, and on the other hand the injustice and disregard of the authorities for a situation that goes against basic human rights. Giuseppe’s speech is touching, so we want to report it in full, hoping it will help bring attention to the problem.

giuseppe scianna
Çerman inside his small car wash. He lost his house entirely. Now his job is at risk because the car wash’s structure is not in perfect condition, but he cannot give up his job because of the big crisis. The monthly state aid is very little and does not guarantee meals every day.

People are psychologically broken in a precarious government situation. Monthly aid from the state does not guarantee a meal a day, also blamed on the drastically increased inflation of the Turkish lira. People continue uninterruptedly to salvage what is left of their homes, there is no more day and night due to the endless work of house demolition that amounts to about 300 thousand structures. There are endless expanses of debris fed by thousands of trucks that form veritable mountains of pulped houses. Many children have been traumatized by all this, many schools have collapsed and have been replaced by tents with many recreations because of the heat they give off. The government has sent the military engineer to inspect all structures that have apparently remained standing, but the tendency has been to underestimate the damage, this probably to reduce economic exposure regarding housing reconstruction grants. While everything is proceeding into an uncertain future, the people are responding with a great strength of humanity and sharing.

Giuseppe Scianna
giuseppe scianna
Giuseppe Scianna, Street scenes Serynol
giuseppe scianna
giuseppe scianna
Street Scenes. Ekinci 2023
giuseppe scianna
Detail of a kitchen. Tavla 2023.
giuseppe scianna
Boulem inspects the property of some residents in the village of Tavla.
He is a civil engineer from Adana who has volunteered to inspect many houses with suitable instruments to ascertain the fitness of the structures. There are many, indeed almost all, one- and two-storey single-family structures that have suffered visible damage, with more or less large cracks, to which the residents do not want to return, largely because they fear further tremors. The government has sent the military engineer to check but apparently the tendency has been to underestimate the damage, probably to reduce the economic exposure for reconstruction subsidies. Owners of condemned or heavily damaged structures will be reimbursed 60 per cent of the cost by the state, and the remaining 40 per cent will be eligible for a 20-year interest-free loan. Tavla 2023.
giuseppe scianna
Guys in Ekinci district
giuseppe scianna
giuseppe scianna
Sevcan inside her old room. She is a 39-year-old woman who lives in the Ekinci district inhabited by about 10,000 people located within the city of Antioch. This is the first time she has entered her room since that night of the earthquake to salvage what she could. Living with her family and two other sisters, she has now found accommodation in a tent not far from her old home.
giuseppe scianna
Two brothers embrace after feeling another earthquake tremor outside school
giuseppe scianna
giuseppe scianna
giuseppe scianna
Lunch inside an ironworks. Iron has become a much sought-after material for many people because it is considered very durable and safe. Large quantities are imported every day, especially from Adana and Istanbul, to meet the demands throughout Antioch. The owners work non-stop to meet the huge demand.

Ph credits and copyright Giuseppe Scianna

Photography
Written by Giorgia Massari
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