Photo story: Distant II

People are praying at Duzgun Baba, a traditional Alevi ritual, Dersim, December 2014 (Kom News/Haydar Tastan)

By Haydar Tastan*

Dersim. Officially, Tunceli. A city that has never compromised with the state and the establishment since the early stages of the Republic. It is a city that is distant to the dominant religion, the dominant language and culture. It has a different language, religion, culture and even its name is different. Dersim is a city that has been the scene of a perpetual clash between the government and guerrilla forces for the past 40 years. It is lofty, it is cold and it is distant. For the past 40 years, the people of Dersim have been trying to continue with their lives in the midst of a war amidst two opposing sides. Distant has aimed to narrate, with all its difference and distance, a geographical location, which makes everyone hesitant about its name. Distant is a story that has observed and documented the daily life and culture in a region under the shadows of war, and the vague traces of war written on the walls.

*Haydar Tastan is a photographer based in Turkey.