We Will Live After Babylon

Ara Güler

Stokta Yok
CategoryShort Story-Photography
Translated by

Nazım Dikbaş

Original language



Rober Koptaş


Hulusi Nusih Tütüncü

Print info

First Print, August 2018

Page and Size

144 pages, 22,5x28 cm




This book brings together the short stories Ara Güler penned during his early period, and his photographs. Güler is known internationally as a photographer and considered the most important representative of creative photography in Turkey, however, he is a relative unknown as a short story writer, and the various aspects of Güler the writer appear in breathtaking range in We Will Live After Babylon. This new edition of three simultaneously published volumes in Turkish, Armenian and English, brings together Güler’s visual production with his texts, who appear to also take photographs through the medium of the short story, to form a “photograph-short story album”. Güler thinks that his early period short stories have an important role in his ability to “capture meaningful moments and combine them in a narrative”, and describes these 13 short stories as “a kind of photography”. There is no doubt that Güler is a “man of the visual world” and We Will Live After Babylon is a solid proof of that.

Back Cover

I realize now that my emotions in these short stories, somehow, turned into a visual narrative. Even then, I must have fallen into a visual world. It seems to me that there is a common style of narrative to writing and visuality. In fact, there is no doubt about it, otherwise, we wouldn’t have the art of cinema. After all, when I look at my photographs, from time to time, I find impressions from my theatre work, or from what I imagined adding to my short stories. So perhaps I owe my ability to “capture a moment, and form a composition” in photography to all my old work.


Anyhow, it appears that, as a result of this kind of thing, one gathers visual material. Visual material, just like poetry, writing, painting or the performing arts, gathers its own from somewhere, takes on a new form, and becomes visual art. After all, if one pays attention to the short stories I wrote, one can observe that they are, in a sense, a kind of photography.


About the Author

Ara Güler

Ara Güler was born in 1928 in Istanbul. Internationally renowned, he is considered the most important representative of creative photography in Turkey. During his childhood, he was strongly influenced by cinema. He worked at film studios while he was at high-school. He graduated from the Getronagan High-School in 1951. He began to receive drama and acting training under Muhsin Ertuğrul. He wanted to become a director, or a playwright. During this period his short stories and interviews were published in literature magazines and Armenian newspapers. He attended the Faculty of Economics at Istanbul University, however, deciding to become a photojournalist, he quit university. He began his career in journalism in 1950, at the Yeni İstanbul [‘New Istanbul’] newspaper. He worked as the Near East photojournalist for Time LifeParis Match and Stern. He joined Magnum Photos. His photo-interview on Noah’s Ark was distributed by Magnum Photos to more than a hundred publications. During the same period, he also made his Mount Nemrut photo-interview, and Mount Nemrut came to the attention of the international reader through his photographs. In another important interview, he focused on the ancient city of Aphrodisias, and helped the city to be rediscovered and known throughout the world. Until 1961 he worked as photography department chief at Hayat [‘Life’] magazine. In 1961, the British Journal of Photography Year Book published in the UK listed him as one of the best seven photographers in the world. The same year, he was accepted into the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP). In 1962, he earned the Master of Leica title in Germany. The same year, Camera magazine, the most important publication in the world of photography at the time, dedicated a special issue to him. He took the photographs for Lord Kinross’s book Hagia SophiaA History of Constantinople, published in 1971. In 1974, he was invited to the United States of America, and after taking photographs of many famous Americans, presented his exhibition titled Creative Americans in many cities of the world. The same year, he shot a documentary film titled The End of the Hero about the scrapping of the Yavuz battlecruiser. His photographs of the works of Mimar Sinan, a project he worked on for many years, were published in 1992. He has opened hundreds of exhibitions across the world and published tens of books. He has taken photographs of many world-famous figures, including Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Arnold Toynbee, Picasso, William Saroyan and Salvador Dali, and also of the leading artists of Turkey, and conducted interviews with them. In 2018, soon after his 90th birthday, he passed away in Istanbul.

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