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Turkish photographer spends a 29-day shoot in ICU Covid-19 unit, wins a prize
She said she wanted to show people what was happening in a COVID-19 intensive care unit clearly.
Selected as the winner of Discovery of the Year 2020, F. Dilek Uyar became the Emerging Photographer of the Year in the contest of the California-based International Photography Awards with her work titled ‘In Epicenter of COVID-19.’
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most important event affecting the world since World War II, Uyar said doubtlessly the biggest difficulty was experienced in hospitals, with all health professionals working day and night.
Saying “I can’t change history, but I can show it,” she decided to spend time at a hospital to shoot. Uyar said she soon became “invisible” to the people there with the time spent observing and shooting.
Uyar said as a mother of two, it was a difficult decision for her to enter the intensive care unit, or “the heart of the risk” in her words.
She considered the risk for both herself and her family.
“But I knew that I would never forgive myself at the end of this process, which will not be repeated again [...] I should have photographed a subject that I had to photograph, not a subject that would be good if I took photos.”
She said she wanted to show people what was happening in a COVID-19 intensive care unit clearly. She aimed at shooting to show normal moments in intensive care, the arrival of a patient, dressing up and entering the patients' rooms for treatment as well as the moments of treatment and how the doctors and nurses rested and slept.
“In general, we see that the events that focus on the moment in documentary photography are away from aesthetic anxiety. But unlike the general ones, I also wanted to show that aesthetic photographs can be taken in documentary photography, albeit difficult,” she said.
“This has been the surprise of my lifetime. I can’t believe it,” she said on social media.