Locked out of Heaven


“It’s an old tradition that dates back to the Ottoman empire and now only exists in a handful of hidden cafes in Istanbul. One is pictured almost completely obliterated by ivy, with only a hint of an iron gate to suggest an entrance. Inside are subtle signs that these are bird cafes: hooks on walls, the occasional picture.

…The photographic story begins at night with mysterious views of bushes, brightly lit as if by car headlights. A man sits waiting, contemplating; another looks up at the night sky. As dawn breaks one man is seen digging next to a tree, another hangs nets, and these actions taken out of context seem ritualistic. The most treasured birds are caught in the wild, not bred, apparently because their song is all the more complex when it has been learned naturally.”



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