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Dengbej

2010 International Photography Exhibition
“Dengbej”
Location: Diyarbakir, Turkey
Photographer: Erdem Erkilic
Home Country: Turkey
University Affliation: Graduate Student
Category: People
Award: Honorable Mention

In the photographer's words: "'Dengbej' is a Kurdish word that refers to a Kurdish cultural folk singer. "Dengbej" live mostly in Diyarbakir, a Turkish town populated mostly by Kurdish people. Despite the policies imposed by the Turkish government for years to leave the Kurdish culture in the dark, the "Dengbej" managed to maintain their existence and keep their culture. Today, the "Dengbej" get together in houses provided by the Turkish government to conserve their culture. They sing various epic songs about the Kurdish culture and try to raise the interest among Kurdish youngsters in becoming a "Dengbej." The look in the eyes of an elder "Dengbej" thus contains both disappointment about the past and hope for the future."

Dengbej