Gün Solène Şahmaran – Turunç

At a time when stereotypes about suburbs and immigration are continually being used to build symbolic borders, to justify inequalities, to generate anxiety or even to make communities invisible, I wanted to bring a new vision by taking interest in the everyday lives of young men with Turkish origins living in the suburbs of Paris and Berlin.

Being myself a child of Turkish/Kurdish immigrants and born in the suburbs of Paris, it meant a lot to me to tell the story of these young men in order to get out of the stereotypes that people can have on them. It was also a way, of course, to reconnect with the familiar settings of my childhood and bring a feminine vision of it. What I express through this series is what binds this community living in those places and put forward the attachment to its roots that this young generation proudly displays.

Through the play of shadows, the hidden faces and veiled landscapes, we feel a tension that evokes the delicate situations their are going through but also the frailty of their identity between the desire to erase oneself and the need to assert oneself.

Gün Solène Şahmaran (1996, France) is a photographer living between Paris and Bienne. She studied visual communication and photography at ECAL (CH). She won the Photoforum Prize 2018 and the Swiss Design Awards 2019 for the graduation project Turunç. In 2019 the series was also selected for the shortlist of the MACK First Book Award and she was awarded the Florentine Riem Vis Grant.

Having grown up in the suburbs of Paris, she dedicates her photographic work to places, often forgotten, which are full of potential. Her cultures represent also a great source of inspiration for her work. It is by giving particular attention in details, emotions and atmospheres that she creates her photographic universe.