My Beloved Sulukule…
By Nejla Osseiran, 2010
This photo-reportage witnesses the last 2 and a half years of Sulukule, a gypsy neighborhood in Istanbul now completely demolished as part of an urban transformation project carried out by the Fatih municipality, during the years 2005-2010. The people of Sulukule themselves wanted to have their pictures taken and they posed for the camera desiring to have one last memento of their homeland.
In the background is the voice of Gulsum Abla, whose house in Sulukule was under the threat of demolition at the time, but now also demolished. She tells us her feelings about being a gypsy, living in poverty and discrimination. She talks about the old happy days of her childhood in her beloved Sulukule. Her song at the end sums it up: ‘I’m All Alone’.
Nejla Osseiran, a Turkish-Lebanese photographer, worked as a teacher for many years. Her photos are social documentaries mainly concerned with human rights issues such as identity, poverty, working children and forced evictions. She has been making documentary films related to these issues since 2010.
Music: Anouar Brahem
Editing: Imre Balanlı
Running time: 10 min.