“The Family” is a photographic project about a Turkish nomadic family: the Kaplan family. Hüseyin, Ayse and their ten children are on a constant journey in Anatolia. For seven years, Stefan Bladh has visited them in various places around the country several times each year. Thanks to an old mobile phone, he has managed to locate them. Periodically, Stefan Bladh has lived with the family and to some extent become part of it. Their temporary homes are under highway bridges, in old abandoned houses and small cold rooms in shantytowns. Life is characterized by a constant struggle for survival, marked poverty and exclusion.
The pictures have a documentary character and are photographed both in black and white and in color.
“The Family” is also available in book form with a foreword by Anders Petersen and was published in 2010.
Drafts from the book:
Istanbul, September 15, 2002. This is the first night I sleep at the Kaplan family home. We lie like a rosary, feet apart next to each other. I, at the far end next to my big brother Ali, 20. On the other side is dad Hüseyin, 40, and snoring. The toddlers are embedded in the middle. Above us, the traffic is roaring, it is late summer and raw in the air. I pull the blanket I stole with me from the hotel over my nose, but the cold and the pungent smell of garbage, urine and food penetrates. And behind it, the smell of highway; exhaust fumes, asphalt, burnt rubber.
We lie on the concrete foundation under the viaduct, on found carpets and blankets. It is carbon black outside. I lie awake and listen to the wild dogs barking among the rats the garbage, people sneaking past in the gravel.
The project has been carried out with the help of the Swedish Arts Council. The prints are sponsored by Epson and printed on Epson Traditional Photo Paper
Stefan Bladh is a photographer and is based in Stockholm.