Drowned History

Winners 2021

Mustafa Bilge Satkin

M.Bilge Satkn is an award-winning documentary photographer based in Istanbul, Turkey. He teaches as an Associate Professor in Marmara University Photography Department. He has participated in solo and many group exhibitions in diverse countries. In addition, his works have been awarded Pictures of the Year and Lucie Foundation Award. He is a member of Diversify Photo. He works for the United Nations Development Program (Turkey) as a volunteer photographer. His works mostly focus on social injustice, climate change, and migration.
2 place
The Problem
2021

Drowned History

This project tells the story of people forced to abandon their ancestral city Hasankeyf. It is located in upper Mesopotamia to Anatolia, along the Tigris River in Batman, Turkey. Here, aligned with the state's water policies, the Ilisu Dam was constructed even though, inevitably, historical and cultural heritage would be buried, its precious riverine habitat would be flooded, and people would be de-territorialized. The city, also known as Rock Fortress, is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited settlements globally, spanning an estimated 12,000 years. This urban establishment was like an open-air museum, containing thousands of human-made caves, hundreds of medieval monuments, and a unique canyon ecosystem in the Tigris Valley. With the Dam being built, the region's people had to leave their homes, lands, memories, and cultural history altogether behind. The most agonizing part of this process is that they also have to undug their lost loved ones' graves and carry their remains with them.