What places give you a sense of wholeness and what places give you a sense of depletion? At first, everything that came to mind in response to this question felt forced. Then I read the next question.Are there any places that make you feel really you? And I started to have flashbacks of all the places I have loved and still love.
Libraries, old cemeteries, forests, cafes, bookstores.
Prague in the early morning light. When I lived in Prague I would wake up early and follow the early morning light with my camera. From Karlův most to Malá Strana to Zizkoz. It became a ritual for me. Steams of light would cascade down the sides buildings, deepening their shadows and highlighting their carved details. As it moved, I moved and I followed it into places I had never seen before. By 11:00, it was all over. Prague hidden behind veils of fog was equally as moving.
The cemetery overgrown with life. I spent three years photographing the old cemetery of Prague. This secluded and peaceful part of Prague was so overgrown that it teemed with life. The old abandoned parts of the cemetery, with its decaying ornate statues and monumental tombs, felt more like a museum than a place of the dead. What I loved most was the way that it shapeshifted through the seasons. The ivy left to grow wild would wrap itself around everything in the summer and then slowly lose its grip towards winter revealing things I had not seen before.
Our kitchen in Bratislava. The place where my mother and I would chat over coffee. The place where we would prepare food based on old and new recipes. The place my mother recently abandoned by saying that she prefers my cooking over her own; a compliment, since everything I had learned about cooking and baking I had learned from her.
The streets of Istanbul where everything is still so new to me.
My place in front of the classroom.
My small and cozy flat in Istanbul which is starting to look more like a writer’s studio. Books and journals piling up along with my handwritten notes.
Places that give me a sense of depletion are places that I call non-places. Defined by French anthropologist Marc Augé as spaces of transience where human beings remain anonymous and spaces that don’t hold enough significance to be regarded as “places”.
What places give you a sense of wholeness and what places give you a sense of depletion?