Sergei Stroitelev

Photographer
  
Earthquake in Turkey (2023)
Nationality: Russian
Biography: I am a freelance photographer and visual artist working with National Geographic Russia, VICE UK/USA, De Volkskrant, Takie Dela, Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, others. My photographic practice primarily focuses on the exploration of the issues of modern... MORE
Public Story
Earthquake in Turkey (2023)
Copyright Sergei Stroitelev 2024
Updated Oct 2023
Topics Spotlight
LIFE AND DEATH WALK SIDE BY SIDE
Turkey, 2023


On February 6, 2023, two strong earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 occurred in Turkey. The disaster claimed more than 50 thousand lives.

I arrived at the epicenter of the earthquake, the city of Antakya (Turkey) on the same day and began to document the events. The city turned into a ghost, the air was a haze of dust from collapsed buildings,

I heard screams. I witnessed how a father pulled the body of his five-year-old son out of the rubble with his own hands. After some hours I saw how small teams of rescuers pulled out a young man from under the darkness of the rubbles. He was covered in dust, his eyes were closed. He had been lying under cold concrete without water for 150 hours.

In such situations, life and death walk side by side, people show their best and worst qualities, and all their feelings are sharpened. This horror displays how fragile a person is in the hands of nature, but at the same time how strong their will and desire to survive might become.
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Earthquake in Turkey (2023) by Sergei Stroitelev
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