Istanbul-based artist Uğur Gallenkuş creates digital photo collages as a way to encourage social change in our often volatile world. Last year, he began placing side-by-side photographs depicting the relative safety and luxury of Western culture with the war-torn Middle East. The differences are as striking as they are heartbreaking. In his ongoing series, the West is shown as a place of consumerism and excess while people in countries like Syria are facing grave destruction and ultimately fighting to stay alive.
Gallenkuş believes that art transcends all languages. We can look at one of his images—such as Holland’s colorful field of tulips juxtaposed with rows of guns in the Middle East—and instantly understand that while one population can appreciate nature’s beauty, the other fears extreme violence in their lives. These digital collages can be hard to view, but they achieve the overall goal of Gallenkuş’ work—to raise awareness and awaken us to the injustices taking place near and far.
For even more eye-opening collages, follow Gallenkuş on his popular Instagram account.