About the project


The Lives of Cappadocia project is a detailed ethnographic documentation of the intersection of traditional and modern life in the unique environment of Cappadocia where I will complete a body of work that explores the experience of the ‘tourist’ in both public and private spaces. I will work with both the bizarre rock formation landscape features of the area, and the local people in the village of Ibrahimpasa, in my effort to capture this amazing local milieu. Spe cifically, I will photograph and document with video the interiors of volunteers’ cave dwellings to create contemporary portraits of local people through an examination of their living spaces. I will also tour ancient cave sites to contrast the modern villagers’ lives with the possible way of life of their ancestors. The end product of this research will be videos, photographs, digital collages, and drawings that will culminate in a book chronicling the project that will be produced when I return to Los Angeles. Throughout the duration of the project, I will document my adventure daily on a blog with photos, drawings, writings, and video clips that will serve as part travelogue and part sketchbook.


Cappadocia Turkey is an area of exceptional natural wonders, with a unique historical and cultural heritage—a surreal landscape, honeycombed with lunar rock formations and tabletop mountains. For hundreds of years, inhabitants have carved homes, churches, and complex underground cities into these intriguing volcanic spires. Cappadocia can trace its human occupation back to the Bronze Age. The area is most famous for its occupation of Christian settlers who fled to the area to escape persecution from the Romans. The first settlers constructed elaborate passages and entire underground cities out of the steep canyon rock faces. The occupants were entirely self-sufficient and developed an intricate network of living and storage spaces with protective, sealed entrances.


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