Photojournalism | Nominiert

Mustafa Bilge Satkın


Drowned History


This project tells the story of people forced to abandon their ancestral city – Hasankeyf. It is located on the route from Upper Mesopotamia to Anatolia, along the Tigris River in Batman, Turkey. Here, aligned with the state’s water policies the Ilısu Dam was constructed despite the fact that, inevitably, historic and cultural heritage would be buried, its precious riverine habitat would be flooded, and people would be de-territorialized. The city, also known as Rock Fortress, is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited settlements in the world, spanning an estimated 12,000 years. The dam built inundated the site’s caves and most of its structures, it also threatened hundreds of species. Additionally, more than 10.000 anguished inhabitants, most of whom are Kurdish and Arabic, were displaced. They even had to exhume the graves of their loved ones and carry their remains so future generations could visit their ancestors.


M. Bilge Satkın is a photographer based in Istanbul, Turkey. He received his doctorate degree from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. He has participated in solo and many group exhibitions in diverse countries in addition, his works have been awarded Pictures of the Year International, Getty Grant, and Lucie Foundation Award. He is a member of Diversify Photo. He works for the United Nations Development Program (Turkey) as a volunteer photographer. His works mostly focus on social injustice, climate change, and migration.