Bobbie was born in 1981 in Beyoglu, Istanbul. Lives and works in Norway.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
- Martin Luther King JR.

The gentrification of the working class neighbourhoods in Istanbul has
resulted in many working halls and old factories being bought with the
purpose that they are changed into boutique hotels or shopping malls.
One of these buildings is Veli Alemdar Han (V.A.H.).

V.A.H. was built at the turn of the 20th century as a building for
commerce. It is 13900m2, 9 floors high and has served about 1000
offices. It is situated in Tophane, a working-class district whose former
Greek, Armenian, and Jewish populations have been replaced by more
recent Anatolian migrants.

In 2005, they launched the “Galata Port” project, with the aim of
privatizing the entire Tophane and Karaköy shoreline to create a
tourist and entertainment district.

In spite of the fact that the project was called off a year later, due to
difficulties in buying the properties of the families, some buildings
were already sold. V.A.H. was bought for 20M$.

As a result of the purchase the renters were evicted right away. The
renters received a compensation of about 300 Euros per office. The
offices have been empty ever since. The floors were left in a state
of ruin, unable to house anything but garbage and cats looking for
My family has had an office in V.A.H. for almost 50 years and I
used to hang out there after school. I have many sweet memories in
the building, the office’s secretary was like a big sister to me. But I
also have frightening ones; once a man fell into the elevator shaft
on a Friday evening and his body wasn’t discovered before Monday
morning. After his fall I used to run to go the toilets because the long
corridors reminded me of the ones I saw in horror films.

I want to depict this empty building in all its nakedness and sadness.
For me, V.A.H. symbolises the result of the gentrification and
how it affects the locals life in that neighbourhood for the sake of
“modernising” a society by building on capitalistic values. Investment,
money, economical growth…

The re-actualisation of the building’s situation in the media have made
me conscious that if I want to tell this story, it is now or never. I want
to show the empty rotting space of the building, with echoes and foot
prints left from the past business men. I want to show the “silence” of
Veli Alemdar Han.

The title “VAH” is the initials of the buildings name, but also together
means “Alas!” / “What a pity!” in Turkish.