The Story Of Potlat Gian
Potlan Gian lives in the very poor district of Ayvansaray, where people live off small expedients, such as manual labor at the big Bazaar, theft or drug dealing. His house is one of those buildings that architects and urban scholars call “houses built overnight”, it was one of the many illegal construction interventions that created the area in the 60s. The little boy lives with his father, who is cardiopathic and a former alcoholic. He cannot work due to his health conditions; he is separated from his wife and has the child’s custody. Their home is a large room and a kitchen heated by a wood stove. Days are all the same, Potlan Gian plays very little with neighbors’ children, and his cousin Dilara occasionally visits him. His father’s friends always come to visit; they are alcoholics who find refuge from the Bosphorus winter in this small house in Ayvansaray. It’s this insight on the extended family that I decided to tell. A story of extreme poverty and despair, but also a story of solidarity between people and of great love between a little boy and his father.
All images and text © Daniele Vita (Istanbul 2014)
By Daniele Vita
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