Hello, I'm Uğur Gallenkuş and I live in Istanbul, Turkey. I'm trying to show the important issues the world is facing, such as social injustice and war, by putting two pictures side-by-side within a single frame. By doing this, I want to demonstrate the contrast between the two different worlds we live in.
I started my first parallel universe work on a news story. I started to see fear and despair in the eyes of refugee children trying to get to Europe. I think we don't know anything about war, famine, and other important issues. Today, you may be living in peace, but as long as these problems continue, you may eventually be exposed to them. As an artist, I believe that art is the master of all languages. For a long time, art has been used to create awareness that helps in awakening communities.
I wanted to show the difference between developed and underdeveloped countries. The message I want to convey through my work is versatile. Developed countries live in luxury and peace, but I would like to remind them that people in underdeveloped countries live in pain, hunger, and war. I also wanted to remind underdeveloped countries that they could elect better governments and get a decent education, so they can be as strong and peaceful as developed countries. I want to show the problems of the modern world, such as greed and injustice.
Modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had two premises: "Peace at home, peace in the world" and "The biggest battle is the war against ignorance", and I wish the whole world would live by them.
A Syrian refugee carrying his daughter towards Greece’s border with Macedonia, 2015. Photo: Yannis Behrakis
A woman walks past tents at a Syrian refugee camp in the Turkish town of Suruc in the Sanliurfa province on October 11, 2014. Photo: Aris Messinis
Mohammed Mohiedin Anis, or Abu Omar, 70, smokes his pipe as he sits in his destroyed bedroom listening to music on his vinyl player, gramophone, in Aleppo. Photo: Joseph Eid
The four-year conflict between Yemen's Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels linked to Iran has pushed the already impoverished country to the brink of famine, leaving many unable to afford food and water, with a total of 5.2 million children at risk of starvation according to the NGO. Photo: Essa Ahmed
Destroyed buildings in Mosul framed through the window of a damaged hotel near the Old City. Photo: Felipe Dana
Vickie, 4, holds a hairbrush in her mouth as she's walking in the Kuluba, Uganda, transit camp, March 31, 2017. The civil war in South Sudan has killed tens of thousands and driven out more than 1.5 million people in the past three years, creating the world’s largest refugee crisis. Photo: Jerome Delay
4-year-old Ali Nassar Fadil lies in a ward at the Italian Red Cross hospital on April 13, 2004 after losing his left arm and leg 5 days ago from a blast injury by U.S forces who shot from the air killing his grandfather and 9 others in Fallujah, Iraq. Photo: Paula Bronstein
Child fighter poses with a gun at a military training facility during the Liberian Civil War. Photo: Patrick Robert
In December 2005 in Southern Sudan, a boy drinks water from the Akuem River, near the village of Malual Kon in Bahr el Ghazal State. Only about one-third of the population has access to safe drinking water, and the threat of water-borne disease has increased as towns swell due to the return of displaced people and refugees following decades of civil war. Photo: Georgina Cranston
Refugees and migrants from Eritrea, Mali, Bangladesh and other countries wait on board a dinghy to be rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, 27 kilometers north of Sabratha, Libya. Photo: Santi Palacios
A Rohingya refugee girl next to newly arrived refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in Ukhiya on September 6, 2017. Photo: K.M. Asad
Bombs drop from a MIG-23 fighter east of the capital, Damascus. Photo: Amer Almohibany
A classroom completely destroyed after a Taliban attack in Swabi, Pakistan. August 2012. Photo: Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Syrian boy sits on a destroyed tank in Syria in 2015. Photo: Yasin Akgül
A former circus lion who's missing an eye sits inside a cage in Lima, Peru. Photo: Rodrigo Abd
Nine year old Alladin collects used ammunition to sell as metal in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: Niclas Hammarström
Joseph Duo, a Liberian militia commander loyal to the government, exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key strategic bridge on July 20, 2003, in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: Chris Hondros
Photo: Abd Doumany
12-year-old Kurshida holds her drawing at a CODEC and UNICEF "child-friendly space" on September 21, 2017 in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Kurshida fled to Bangladesh from Bourashidapara village in Myanmar almost a month ago. Her drawing depicts a scene that she witnessed while fleeing her village; the military shooting everywhere, lighting her home on fire, the military cutting her niece's throat with a machete while she slept, her newborn sister being shot, a helicopter dropping bombs, and her neighbors being shot while they tried to flee. With children making up around 60 percent of the 420,000 Rohingya that have fled into Bangladesh, many below 18 years old arrived into the makeshift tents highly traumatized after seeing family members killed and homes set on fire. Photo: Allison Joyce
People gather to get water from a huge well in the village of Natwarghad in the western Indian state of Gujarat on June 1, 2003. Photo: Amit Dave
Photo: Mohamad Abazeed
Children of displaced Syrian refugee family use paving stones as pillows at Erbil, Iraq in 2013. Photo: Emrah Yorulmaz
A wounded woman still in shock leaves Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Sept. 20, 2012. Dozens of Syrian civilians were killed, four children among them, in artillery shelling by Syrian government forces in the northern Syrian town. Photo: Manu Brabo
Children bear the brutal cost of endless war. As 10 children from the same family were walking to school last year, they came across an unexploded mortar bomb - a common sight in Afghanistan where war still rages between the Taliban and US-backed national forces. Not realizing what it was or the dangers it posed, the curious kids picked up the device and took it to show their aunt. And then it exploded. Three children and the older relative were killed, and the remaining seven lost at least one limb each. This is just an unexploded ammo incident. There are thousands of civil people and children who have been killed or crippled in Taliban terrorist attacks and US or US-backed national forces air strikes. Photo: Noorullah Shirzada
Photo: Murad Sezer
Migrants wait to be rescued by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after leaving Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded rubber boat, north of the Libyan coast. Photo: Felipe Dana
Daily life in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993. Graffiti on the wall: 'Welcome to hell!' Run better run. Or a Serbian sniper can shoot you. Photo: Laurent Van der Stockt