The airport is a prime location for people watching. There, you see folks from all walks of life in various states of being; some are rushing to their gate while others are killing time until they board their plane. For photographer Mustafa Çankaya, working at the Atatürk airport has given him more than just an opportunity to watch people from all over the world. It’s been the impetus for his ongoing project called 100 Faces 100 Countries.
“I see thousands of different faces passing by every day, from every culture and every part of the world,” Çankaya writes. “It is like a treasure for a photographer like me!” This inspired him to combine the two facets of his life. Now, he walks around the “transit section” of the airport with an added purpose of finding the right face to photograph. “The person that I decide to shoot has to be different in some way. It could be the hairstyle or the dress but the most important is the atmosphere between me and the participant.”
Çankaya’s series goes beyond a passing glance of the folks he encounters at the airport. With every up-close portrait is a full-body shot of his subject sitting or standing in the airport terminal. We get a better sense of their personality and sense of travel style. Some are wearing comfy clothes and have multiple bags in tow, while other folks are minimalists with just a set of headphones to keep them company. In addition to their sartorial choices, the photographer provides short captions to further contextualize where these people are going and why they are traveling in the first place.
Çankaya started 100 Faces 100 Countries in March 2018. So far, he has 117 portraits from 77 different countries. He is working towards 100 countries, at which time he hopes to have an exhibition of the project.
Photographer Mustafa Çankaya works at the Atatürk airport and chronicles unique people he encounters from around the world.
Nicole from Ukraine
Shayma from Kuwait
Freya from Scotland
Bash from Lebanon
Ibrahim Zethy from Rwanda
Kavinthida from Thailand
Indrė from Lithuania
Frédéric from France
Jussi from Finland
Parl From Estonia