The Bursa Photo Festival is one of the most wonderful festival experiences of my career. I was so happy that it was made up mainly of photographers from Turkey and surrounding countries because it set a tone that was very intimate and accessible. The master photographers were very hands-on in the critiques and took time with professionals and enthusiasts alike to look at their work and make suggestions. The evening presentations were vivid and imaginative and included all genres of photography which made everyone look forward to the presentations each night, by not only the master photographers but also by a grand variety of genres of photography and work done at various periods over time… I saw things I had never seen before and I particularly appreciated that the work was not all photojournalism or documentary or war but included many ideas that were beautiful and light, funny, surprising, artistic, graphic… There was something for everyone. And finally, one of the most wonderful and intimate things were the photographic exhibitions that were hung in the hans. Here were photographs made accessible to everyday life and to people working and shopping in the hans, people having tea or their lunch, and it was really exciting to see how the townsfolk came to see the work. In my own exhibition work on my mother and memory loss, the ladies who worked in the han became the guardians of that work. I went to see them daily, they gave me small gifts but the biggest gift was one of friendship and a real caring for the woman they met in my photographs. I would say it was the sweetest festival experience of my career, sweet and warm and inviting and I would return without hesitation!
Ken Schles – BursaPhotoFest “Masters” Guest 2011
The Bursa International Photo festival is a wonder. No where else have I seen such a hunger to see and to experience and to know. Lifelong friendships were forged. It was a transformative experience. World-class in its ambitions, this festival will certainly make its mark on the landscape of a transformed and transforming image-based world. I was both honored and humbled to be a part of the 1st International Bursa Photo Festival.
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