Frederic Lezmi: Taksim Calling

Born 1978, grew up in Dakar, Geneva and the Black Forest. After a year as assistant to German photographer Wolgang Zurborn at Galerie Lichtblick in Cologne, he studied visual communication from 2001 to 2009 with an emphasis on documentary photography at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany.

Turkey –  Taksim Calling is an unconventional poster book that contrasts spontaneously taken iPhone pictures of  the Gezi protests by Frederic Lezmi with idealized and oversized vintage postcard-images from Taksim Square. The flexible presentation of the images allows you to view them either like in a newspaper or more separately as a set of five posters. Hanging it on the wall you can choose which sight of Taksim you prefer: the peaceful historic overview or the more detailed turbulent fragments of the Gezi reality. The book documents the kaleidoscope of Turkish activism in a unique way without interpreting/evaluating the events taken place in Mai and June 2013.   Written and Photographed by – Frederic Lezmi    Taksim Calling by Frederic Lezmi


“For me, Taksim Calling is an example of an artist’s direct reaction to what’s happening around him. Newspaper styled Taksim Calling is showing full-page images of Taksim Place in times of peace -mostly from the 1960’s and 1970’s combined with instamatic pictures of today’s people and activities. Lezmi lives in Istanbul and was there when people raised their voices on Taksim Square, one of the central places in Istanbul and a historical place for demonstration since 1969. During peaceful demonstrations for saving the tress of Gezi Park in 2013, the police attacked the people with water cannons and pepper spray. Lezmi answered this mighty intervention with this oversized publication, sharing it to people carrying a Turkish passport for free and selling the rest for a fair price to refinance the project. I like the project from the idea to the realisation!

Taksim Calling has been the newest example for protest books in Martin Parr’s exhibition of ‘Protest Books’ in Paris.” – Richard Sporleder on Frederic Lezmi’s Taksim Calling.

 

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