Anna Zizlsperger talks to Refik Akyüz and Serdar Darendeliler
of GAPO & Geniş Açı Magazine
We would like to know when your interest in photography started and how you decided to begin working within the context of the medium?
RA: My interest in photography started when I was a child—my father was an amateur photographer—but it became more serious when I entered Boğaziçi University in the early 90s. I studied Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Serdar studied Economics. There was no photography or art department at Boğaziçi University at the time, so Serdar and I joined the photography club. We had a good group of friends there, and the club was quite prestigious, in the sense that famous Turkish photographers like Orhan Cem Çetin, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Laleper Aytek had all been members before us in the late 70s and early 80s. But the club had entered a kind of silent stage, so we decided to liven it up and invite people to come talk about and engage with photography. We also went on some photography trips and held exhibitions
You founded Geniş Açı magazine focusing on photography, in 1997. Can you tell us how that came about?
RA: Around the mid 90s, there were no good publications on photography in Turkey. And remember, at that time there was no internet. You had only old books and magazines from the 70s or 80s in the libraries, no contemporary ones like Aperture, which was a myth in Turkey at that time. In the Fall of 1995, we decided to publish a photography magazine and released the first issue at the beginning of 1997. The most important motive for us was to learn more about photography.