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Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 Special Nomination Winner: Mom, Do You Still Think That I Am Vulgar?

The winner of the Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 special nomination Readers’ Choice Award is “Mom, Do You Still Think That I Am Vulgar?” by Erdem Varol.

During a week, readers took part in the open voting for the best project in the special nomination Readers’ Choice Award. As a result, Erdem Varol’s series received the largest number of votes. The prize of the nomination is 1000 euros.

Erdem Varol, Turkey

One of the biggest challenges when I photograph is to photograph my neighborhood. The challenge I have is not so much about how I got used to seeing the same streets, people, or buildings or how I do not find anything interesting after so many years of inhabiting the same space. It is more about the personal challenge with photographing my neighborhood that concerns my perception of how other residents think about me when I take photographs looking like an idler.

Nevertheless, my friends from primary school still follow me on social media. Mehmet (currently a hairdresser in Sanayi Mahallesi, a childhood friend) recommends that I put a more nostalgic spin into my photographs on social media. During my first attempts to take photographs, I remember my mother asking me what I am up to upon seeing the camera hanging from my neck. I told her that I would go outside to take photographs. I remember that she was concerned and said: “Son! Are you going out like a vulgar with the camera on your neck?”

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