With my photography, I try to put in a shape a questioning about myself more than trying to find an answer.
All my works are about the thematic of the Identity and they are more like fundamental researches than projects, because a project has at least an end-date and a defined scope.
With “Inside landscape”, I met people who live in my hometown Schaerbeek trying to explore the multilayered identity by making links with their domestic life and the territory they habit. With “Turquitude”, I met the first generation of Turkish immigrants who came in Belgium in late 60’ with one purpose, returning back to Turkey as soon as possible but almost all of them will move permanently back in their tomb.
Out of Breath is a series created during 2013 and the end of 2016. The starting point is a feeling, from a precise moment of my childhood, the oldest souvenir I have: it was the day I felt alive, the day I realized I can die.
I started questioning myself about my own identity from a very early age. In the late ’60s, my parents immigrated to Belgium from Turkey, offering me a double nationality and identity. I was always asked to choose one of them; I have always had the feeling of being an exile wherever I go. Maybe more than the place I live, the place where I will be buried will define who I am, in the end.
When it comes to taking pictures, my practice is very instinctive. But in terms of building my series, each image is selected precisely and thoughtfully. My chosen photographs are flashes about myself and my death…
Here is a text written during the realization of Out of Breath.
I was born Türk, assimilated on paper.
I have one knee on each culture, the forehead on my faith.
I was born Belgian with a dual identity.
I am the lost descent.
I am the European, un-naturalised by my peers.
I have the Earth as pavement.
I am the nasty face.
I know where I come from.
I am the one who sees their threats coming.
I know how to fight.
I am the father of two destinies.
I wish my daughters inhale the dry mountains.
I am the young boy with a few words.
I am ready to get dressed with my white shroud.
I am a child of Anatolia.
I can’t leave my Brothers with an empty hole on my soil.
I am the guardian of my offshoots.
I can’t leave my angels with an empty hole on their soil.
I am the last one.
I am the dead body,
Which ground will rot my flesh?
About Hakan Simsek
Born in Brussels in 1978. Masters degree from the Computer Sciences department of ULB. In 2015-2016, one year MasterKlass with Klavdij Sluban and Nestan Nijaradze in Paris. [Official Website]