‘Leaving One for Another’, by Olgaç Bozalp combines documentary with stylised constructed imagery to explore both the journeys and disparate causes of migration. Drawing on his own experience of migration, Bozalp’s work tells the more universal story of human movement through often playful and absurd images which are heavy with symbolism.
In the book, documentary photographs taken on Bozalp’s travels are interspersed and contrasted with staged interventions created in collaboration with art director Raphael Hirsch. Some of the constructed imagery depicts figures in the landscape, all faceless with their identities hidden. Other imagery depicts sculptural installations incorporating significant objects from migrants’ lives and journeys—family photographs, life vests and bags of possessions. The theme of transport runs through the work—precariously loaded motorcycles, rafts, cars—illustrating how lives are physically carried through the passage to a new life.
The documentary element in the project is inspired by Bozalp’s observations, travels and personal stories. He has visited nearly fifty countries, focusing on those with complex histories in the Middle East, Asia and his home country Turkey. The images collectively form a visual essay to represent a universal story of migration whether it be through forced displacement, through conflict or gentrification, or simply the pursuit of new financial opportunities for freedom of expression.