We had the good fortune of connecting with Elif Koyutürk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elif, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
It has always been in my heart to hold a hand, listen to a story and build a foundation of assistance for those in need.
As a Portraitist and Documentarian, I find characters who hold stories of wisdom that help educate others to solve life problems. For me, this journey started with one story which then led to another and another. I have spent time in war-torn Syria supporting refugees, children in impoverished Turkish villages and worked with inner-city and under-resourced youth in the United States.
However, capturing their stories is not enough. My passion is to use my gift of photography and film to establish a profit-based business that provides much-needed resources to local problems. I recently developed a giveback program, Art for Humanity, where the sales of limited edition prints provide much-needed clothing for the children of Eastern Turkey and I started partnering with local NGOs that speak to me. It’s a very exciting time for me as my personal, commercial, and humanitarian pursuits intersect and seem to balance quite nicely.
Additionally, I am a nature lover. And we ARE nature.
For the past 5 years, I have been researching and working with Nomadic communities and pastoralists from the Anatolian region of Turkey to understand their impact on soil, carbon sequestration, and climate desertification. My research and life with them led me through many enlightened moments for our Planet Earth. My “Last Guardians of Anatolia” movie will premiere when we can all gather together once again. Until then I continue working with the nomadic communities for their access to water and education.
Above all, I believe art and stories can transform the world when in the right hands. At the end of the day, it all links up with empathy. To feel like one another when necessary so we can be in another’s shoes, view the world and their challenges through their perspective, then act in impactful ways.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I capture the aesthetics of invisible feelings that make you look within leveraging the mediums of film, painting, and photography. Motivated to capture fading cultures and cultural indigenous practices, I travel the globe in search of the rawest and authentic humanity the population has to offer.
Connecting with people of all walks of life, I seek those on the fringes, pushing the boundaries of their honest life’s mission, those who seek and find their own wild calling. Growing up in the mountains of Ancient Mesopotamia I have a direct connection with Mother Nature. Awed by the abundance and mystery of nature and the soil from which it stems, my natural studies and artworks have a symmetrical harmony with my subject’s pure presentation, capturing what nature intended.
As both documentary filmmaker and photography artist, I excel in threading the foreign concepts together with golden lines, and from there, an understanding is birthed. My approach to life and her work is raw and direct. Each project is a personal challenge and pursuit.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Quick trip to San Diego desert dunes to introduce my friend to my other friend Caveman from there I’d head to Ney Falls at Mount Shasta love the biodiversity there. Along the trip I´ll be cooking Middle Eastern food kebabs, baklavas, dolmas!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my family for always being behind my ideas and to my beloved friends; Tyrone Hazen, Christina Linton, Ryan & Anne Price.