In conjunction with the documentary The Eye of Istanbul, DCIFF is thrilled to showcase a collection of some of Ara Güler’s iconic photos of life in Istanbul during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The photographs hark back to an era long gone, and for which the only remaining visual record are these photos. Also included are some of his portrait photographs of various world leaders and renowned personalities.
Ara Güler is a Turkish photojournalist, also known as Istanbul’s Eye. In 1958 when Time-Life, an American publication opened its Turkey branch, Ara Güler became its initial correspondent. Soon enough he started to get commissioned by other international magazines, such as Stern, Paris Match, and Sunday Times, London. In 1961, he was hired by Hayat magazine as the chief photographer.
In this time, he met Marc Riboud and Henri Cartier-Bresson, who recruited him to join Magnum Photos. Ara was presented in 1961 British Photography Yearbook. In the same year, the American Society of Magazine Photographers made him the first Turkish photographer to become the member of this organization.
Ara’s work is included in the collections of institutions worldwide, such as Paris’s National Library of France; New York’s George Eastman Museum; Das imaginäre Photo-Museum; Museum Ludwig Köln; and Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.
Ara’s philosophy on photography is that he attaches great importance to the presence of humans in photography and considers himself as a visual historian. According to him, photography should provide people with memory of their suffering and their life. He feels that art can lie but photography only reflects the reality. He does not value art in photography so he prefers photojournalism.