Rena Effendi

A Five Day War
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Nationality: Azerbaijan
Biography: Rena Effendi’s early work focused on oil industry’s effects on people’s lives.  As a result, she followed a 1,700 km oil pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, collecting stories along the way. This work was published in 2009... read on
Public Story
A Five Day War
Credits: rena effendi
Date of Work: 08/01/08 - 08/12/08
Updated: 05/05/18
When a conflict broke out between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 over the Russian backed self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia I traveled back and forth between the frontlines in my attempt to catch up with the fast pace of unraveling events. Soon, I realized my limitations and began working in a deliberately slow fashion. I photographed formal portraits of people, a priest looking back in grief after collecting the dead bodies of soldiers, a family of refugees at the food distribution center. I documented the interiors of abandoned homes in a tenement buildings shelled by the Russian warplanes. What objects were taken and what was left behind when the people fled the bombs? What survived the blast? Love letters scattered on the floor of a looted apartment, ghost frames offset the wallpaper where once family pictures smiled, a heap of potatoes lay intact amidst corrugated metal and blasted cement. Both people and spaces gazed back at me, becoming an evocative portrait of a one-week war.  

By Rena Effendi —

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