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Aytekin Yalcin is a fashion photographer and video maker from Istanbul, who is based in Milan, for more then three years now. There are many great fashion editorials, fashion covers, brand campaigns, celebrity shootings and video clips in his powerful portfolio. Shooting and travelling around the world, took Aytekin’s perspective of photography and video making on the upscale level. After COVID-19 breakout, Aytekin had to stay quarantined in his home in Milan, as many creative people did around the globe. But his constantly growing passion for shooting did not stop his creative mind. One fine morning, Aytekin took his camera and decided to picture random people in masks and gloves, passing on the street that is just in front of this balcony. Some of them are rushing to supermarkets, some of them are heading to pharmacy stores, many of them are going to work and others, are just exercising outdoors. The quarantine days might not be completely over yet but Aytekin keeps documenting the historical quarantine days from the streets of Milan. Here is our interview with talented photographer that led us to launch a special #LOCKDOWNISSUE with three different covers. The time is to be ‘ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE’, because ‘WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER’ and ‘THE FUTURE IS NOW’. 

Interview OBEN BUDAK



How does it feel to be under quarantine in your home for over a month so far? How do you manage to survive psychologically?  

As someone who is used to an intense work space, staying at home for a long time is very difficult, but not impossible. The quarantine can’t kill creativity, maybe strengthen it. I am trying to take care of myself and stay totally positive.

What is your daily routine at home stay?

During this process, I got used to go to sleep and get up earlier. I feel more organised. I think because the things that control myself are now restricted. Cooking my meals, watching news, exploring social media and working on photos, all make my day flowing really fast.

How did you decide to take portraits of people passing by from your balcony? Why? 

I was very confused in the first few days of the quarantine. All my work started to cancel. I often went out to the balcony to get fresh air and it was very interesting to see any type of person wearing a mask and gloves and also to witness the same street that everyday was getting emptier and creepier everyday. I really believe that this is a turning point for the entire world. I can’t stop documenting these days. 

What do you want to tell the world with your portraits from streets? 

Actually, I don’t have a word to say… I think my photos are self-expressing the whole situation. We are worried, we are afraid and we are all stuck, but at least we feel much closer to each other now!

Do you think people get more creative under psychological pressure? Or not? Why?

I think that creative people can create under all kind of circumstances. And what is exactly created may just differ from the situations we live in.

What do you value the most in your life, nowadays? 

The health of my family and people I love.

Will you be the same person again?

I will always remain that way I am. I can always change my shape according to the situation.

How do you see our world after the virus is contained and quarantine is gone? What will change? Why?

This is a transformation point. Many things will definitely change. More radiations, more automatisation, less people, less nature, more money, more beliefs, more religions… Are we ready for 5G? 

What do you miss the most about Milan city and Italy, where you have been living and working these past 3 years?

I miss all the activities that people do together. Parties, exhibitions, parks, restaurants and being on the set with a camera in my hands.

What will you do first when you go out after quarantine? 

I will visit my family and friends.

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