Photography in Days of Pandemic
Emin Altan, 1962 Species Solidarity, Lesbos, Greece, Istanbul, Turkey May 2013 - April 2020
70 x 100 cm
Archival pigment print

“Who was here first? Who is stronger and more enduring on the earth: us or them? We could learn a thing or two from the animal kingdom about survival. About how to live too.”

Svetlana Alexievich

We were talking about the endless desire to dominate the “other”, and the process in which humans, having been alienated from their labor, become alienated from nature as well as themselves to eventually destroy their own kind.

Global warming, melting of polar ice caps, avian flu, the Kyoto Protocol, SARS, ozone layer depletion... We were watching all these developments, but it was as if we were in a theoretical discussion; many of us were gazing at an uncertain future and the agony of others from afar. Now, however, we are inevitably recognizing the fact that our planet is sick and that we are helpless. Our advanced technologies and smart bombs cannot provide a cure. We cannot comprehend the cost of interfering with the natural balance that has evolved over millions of years, and we are horrified.

Those with the loudest voices are still blaming the “other” while some are dreaming of turning this into an “opportunity”.

Solidarity of the species stands before us as an option.