Kebab Project : The first art book and possibly a documentary film project which describes the soul of kebab shops in Istanbul, Paris and Berlin. A photographic journey with the restaurants, faces and real stories. Kebab Culture seen by immigrated artists, musicians and kebab-lovers.
If you’re not speaking the same language with the people behind the counter, you may have a low chance of actually getting to know them. All you encounter is the Chef who engages in a minimal conversation with you, asking: "Salade, tomate, oignon?" in Paris or "Mit Gemüse?" in Berlin. But they have stories to be told. And so does a student during a lunch time, party people in late hours, all other kebab-lovers, and kebab shops. That’s why our project aims to let these people’s stories to be recognized. An artistic journey with artworks, music, and films.
We’ve heard lorryloads of stories in the kitchens of kebab restaurants abroad. Those kitchens are the gathering places of migration stories which we seek after; the stories of these foreign kebab heroes as well as the emigration journey of kebab itself.
There will be plenty of faces and places. Kebab project will consist of three main subjects:
White flash neon lights, plastic flowers, photos that bring in an artificial, orientalist style from distant places, less authentic settings, wooden-looking plastic tables, small carpets hung on the walls… This kitsch spirit and meaninglessness of the place is always accompanied by a TV in the corner.
For 6€ in Paris and 3.5€ in Berlin, almost impossible to get full with anything cheaper at late hours. The wrap is stuffed with a juicy meat and full of sauces. Anyway…Who are those students, friends, businessmen, jobless or lonely people?
“Bonjour”, “Salade, tomate, oignon ?”, “La sauce ?” is a classical conversation when in a Parisian kebab shop. Rarely, the conversation goes beyond that. Everytime, I feel like asking them their stories: where they come from, who they are, why they are here and... "Memleket nere?" But my sandwich is already here in a plastic bag and next customer is getting impatient.
(Photo Tchane by Estelle Chauffour - Istanbul 2017)
(My grandfather, Adapazari - Turkey 2002)
I was born and raised in Adapazari / Turkey in 90's and immigrated to France in 2000's where i studied photography and graphic design. The old gentleman you see in the picture above is my grandfather. He is 80 years old now! He is a chef kebab cook who gave more than 60 years of his life to his profession. Facing a fire for a lifetime. My kebab story began with him in Turkey – the country I was born in. My maternal relatives have adopted the kebab profession for generations. My childhood have passed in meat markets and kebab restaurants. That’s why the project will also help me to personally connect with my childhood memories and will be dedicated to my grandfather!
Long story short, our project will be a photo book about certain döner and kebab places in Istanbul, Paris and Berlin as well as a compilation of migration stories. We’re in touch with many restaurants. We know each other because we’ve been eating at those restaurants for years. They have accepted to be involved in the project. Our book will be composed of real stories and artworks.
There will be portrait pictures of the chefs and the eaters accompanied with written text. Also pictures from places. Short videos will be produced depending on the budget.
Super 8 is not dead!