“Disjoint Worlds” is a project that Sila Yalazan made in Tarlabaşı District where her studio is located. Tarlabaşı is a neighbourhood around Taksim district in İstanbul. Back in the time (1990s) large numbers of Kurdish immigrants from Southeastern Turkey moved in and “mixed” with the local Romina population. Recently it has become home to many immigrants from neighbour countries and been declared a regenerate area by the government although it’s a heritage district. So we can say that Tarlabası’ days are numbered. Soon like everywhere else the area will be surrounded by hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, fashion shops etc. Sila Yalazan has been documenting this gentrification development for some time since her studio is in the neighbourhood. In her earlier work there were more of a photo journalism documenting peoples everyday life, with a focus on the local kids.
“I don’t feel like an intruder there. Most of the kids I has been taking photos of are my friends. We see each other on a daily basis, hangout and do workshops etc. It’s a kind of social work as well.” – Sila Yalazan
There’s a few reasons why Sila work with children.
“Firstly I’m much more comfortably with them communication wise. Secondly their hope and happiness even during the most difficult times inspires me a lot. And last, their imagination and how they observe everything carefully inspires me.” – Sila Yalazan
Her focus in this series of photos came from the idea by a couple of photos she shot of kids holding objects.
“First one was holding a box to take cover from the rain. Another one was a little girl carrying water bottles. These frames reminded me of scenes from Oskar Schlemmer’s ‘The Triadic Ballet’ which I really like and the idea is from Bauhaus movement. I found similarities between Bauhaus and Tarlabaşı in a sense. Bauhaus was not only important because of architecture and style but also for being an complex, diverse and vibrant community.” – Sila Yalazan
Ideas of teamwork interests her. To develop the project she started to collect objects and props from the streets of Tarlabaşı for the photo shoots.
“My aim was to turn the project to an all theatrical experience. Making costumes, masks and creating stories. The children liked the project as well. They even came out with the fantastic ide to cover their faces with masks and props. Covering their faces stabilize their movement and they turned into mysterious actors that behaved almost robotic.” – Sila Yalazan