Beyond the Explosions (Mashallah News)

Abdullah: My life’s only wish is to walk freely in the streets of Damascus. (by Cihad Caner)

“This series is neither about the explosions, nor the conflicts, nor the dead, but the effects of war. It shows the relationship of the remaining people with the remaining places and their environments.” 

These lines are part of the short introductory text accompanying the Polaroid photos shot by Cihad Caner in Syria. The young Turkish photographer deliberately decided to break the rules of war photography: “War photographers show stuff directly. Dead people, explosions. I am not comfortable with that, because people are getting used to seeing these images and they don’t feel anything anymore. I am not a war photographer. I wanted to go there to bear witness.” 

Indeed, no Turkish magazine or newspaper was willing to publish his unconventional pictures. There were no dead bodies, it was “too artistic”. Cihad was more successful abroad and his Remaining series won 1st prize at the Photographic Museum of Humanity’s photo contest.