Street photography is not a genre that I often associate myself with, and despite the fact that David Bate writes about genres as “not fixed, they are mutable. Genres are processes, which evolve and develop or mutate into hybrids”, I was stuck in a rut when it came to producing a set within the genre in black and white 35mm film. Since the Gezi Park Riots in the summer of 2013 in Istanbul, I stayed away from compositions that were far too out of my own control, perhaps I was becoming, if not, became a control freak.
Since leaving my medical career behind, I never looked back and whilst not even thinking about my life back then, a friend of mine suggested that I should not waste what I have learnt in those 8 years and suggested that I could somehow incorporate that knowledge or experience to my photographic work. So what did I learn from my past career? One thing that is very clear, don’t embark on a long journey that you do not feel absolutely passionate about; not having much time for yourself outside of your career becomes all too consuming when you don’t enjoy what you do. But apart from this generic textbook life lesson, I did learn that hospitals are peculiar places.
Yes, hospitals are peculiar. There was this one time when I saw a man walking down the corridor of a psychiatric hospital with a hawk on his shoulder. I was so shocked that I needed to verify what I was seeing with a colleague of mine. The following few days we were confronted by many avian references dotted around. In another hospital there was an elevator of doom, that what we called it, as it did not have a door or any other way of securing one’s self- the perfect teen-slasher movie prop. Even the more mundane things were peculiar- how many people can imagine watching a South Asian dance performance right in the middle of the hospital or buying the freshest, most exotic fruits in the neighborhood?
Coming across peculiarities within a hospital is not something I could have controlled as most happened by chance, but I was able to find things or places within grounds of several hospitals that many would not imagine that it belonged. The project that started with just photographing the people outside of hospitals quickly became about the unexpected, the Non-Hospital Scenes.