They were longing for home and their families were far away, so my father’s photos made their way into various living rooms in the respective cities and villages of my home country, Turkey.
I have chosen the opposite way. When I joined my father in Vienna in 1981 at the age of sixteen, I did not know that life here in Vienna was nothing like the photos my father had sent home to our village in his letters.
First of all I had to work for the same company as my father; it was a new, hard life for a boy of sixteen years. I missed my mother, my siblings, my family, the countryside and the people of my village at home more and more every day. I always spent my holidays at home in Turkey. My father had taught me how to use a camera, so I took photos of the village people and countryside there. Even later on, when I travelled to other countries as well, I continued to spend at least one week at home every year, taking photos. By now over 35 years have passed.
Mehmet Emir *1964 in Cigirli/Hozat/Tunceli, Turkey
At the age of 16 I came to Austria to become a footballer, but ended up at a road construction company like my father. Beside the work I attended evening German courses and the HTL. Later I worked as a cook, musi-cian, photographer, social worker, theatre maker, research associate, actor, columnist (for the street magazine Augustin), and ethnomusi-cological field researcher. Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.