These photographs are part of an on-going series looking at control; control over politics, religion, fellow human beings. Each photograph – or I should say photographs – contains one full-frame photo and a fragment of the preceding or succeeding picture from the same roll of film. The fragment serves to underline or contradict the meaning of the main image.
The six pictures here touch on two areas. The first four look at Derin Devlet, the theory that an undemocratic state is operating within the Turkish state.
From Istanbul to Van, rumours and conspiracy theories on a hidden power hoping to undermine or even overthrow the sitting government have circulated for centuries. Current prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes ‘the Deep State… must be minimised, and if possible even annihilated.’
A recent court case alleged a secret organisation named Ergenekon is plotting to oust the ruling AKP. The group is said to be made up of former military men, security officers, artists, journalists and judges, united in a secular ultra-nationalistic cause, willing to use terrorism if need be. Others argue it is the state that is using the fear and suspicion caused by Derin Devlet to crush dissent and strengthen its own position. The subsequent paranoia is particularly felt by the elderly and those living on the periphery of Turkish society.
To many it seems a shadowy Big Brother is at work; and to some that’s not a bad thing at all.
The final two images look at how India’s strict hierarchy controls its society. Today around 160 million human beings in India are classed as ‘untouchables’, falling below even the lowest castes in the country’s unbending Hindu social class system.
Dalits, meaning the ‘suppressed’, are deemed impure, suitable only to do the work others will not, condemned to a lifetime of working leather, rubbish collection and cleaning drains and latrines of human waste with their bare hands. Despite anti-discrimination laws, abuses continue with women faring even worse than men; although the Indian constitution guarantees equality for all women under Article 14, in reality progress has been slow.
Andrew Duke is a freelance photographer based in Scotland. His work has appeared in, among others, The Sunday Times, The Times, The Sunday Herald, The Independent, The Times Educational Supplement, The Scotsman and The Big Issue Magazine.