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Agence VU - Kathryn Cook
Kathryn Cook

American. Lives in Turkey and Italy.

Kathryn Cook grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated from the Colorado University at Boulder in December 2001. Her professional career began with the Associated Press in Panama in 2003, but she left the agency in 2005 to pursue personal projects and do freelance work in Latin America.

In September 2006, she moved to Istanbul where she started her project Memory of Trees. This body of work about the armenian genocide was published in 2013 by the Bec en l’Air Editions. In 2008, this work was awarded by the Aftermath Project Award. The same year she received the Inge Morath Award for her project Memory Denied : Turkey and Armenian Genocide. This award is given annually to a female documentary photographer under the age of 30.

Her pictures have been exhibited in France, Italy, China and the United States. They were also published in numerous magazines such as The New York Times Magazine, TIME, Stern, Newsweek, L’Espresso and D La Repubblica delle donne, L’Expresso and The Independent.


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Stories

The Armenian Genocide, a one hundred year long silence (2015)

How to photograph something that doesn't exist anymore and that people have tried to erase? For seven years, Kathryn Cook has patiently led a work on the Armenian Genocide – the first of the 20th century – which caused the death of more than 1 million Armenians in Turkey. In April 1915, during the First World War, Ottoman authorities decided the deportation and the massacre of the Armenian population from Anatolia, accused of collaboration with the Russian enemy. A hundred years later, the Turkish government still refuses the acknowledgment of the genocide. Yet, former Armenian territories still bear the traces of the tragedy. Through accounts of Armenian and Turkish people met...

Ahlat, Turkey (2012)

The province of Ahlat, near Lake Van eastern Turkey, bears the historical traces of so many empires: Assyrian, Median, Sassanid, the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Selçuk, Ottoman. It is a center of ancient civilizations. There is layer after layer of culture and history underneath this arid land, but so far the excavations have not been able to penetrate very far into the earth. People here live intertwined in the history that surrounds them. Potatoes are stocked in caves that are at least 4,000 years old, children earn a few coins as guides for tourists in the ancient Babylonian cemetery, and villagers tend to their sheep as they graze among Ottoman castle walls. All of this...

Rwanda, 15 years after the genocide (2008)

Fifteen years ago, the world understood the significance of some 800,000 Tutsis murdered by their Hutu countrymen. They called it the Rwandan Genocide, a name that was weighted with the horror and helplessness of both victim and those on the outside looking in. This bloody period, lasting one hundred days, has taken its place amongst history’s other savage episodes, but as is true of all such moments it is the survivors who must make normalcy from the chaos and carnage. How this is done can be as painful as the calamity itself. Rwanda’s Genocide has given rise to an entire generation of orphans tormented by their country’s horrifying blood let. They Once Were Children is the visual...

General Nkunda's rally in North Kivu, Congo (2008)

Congolese Tutsi rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda, is in his home town of Jomba, Democratic Republic of Congo, for a meeting with UN special envoy, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Nkunda and Obasanjo discussed a proposal for peace talks between Nkunda and the Congolese government, to which Nkunda replied, "If there is no negotiation, let us say then there is war."

Commemoration of the Armenian genocide (2008)

24 April, celebration in memory of the Armenian genocide in Yerevan

Memory of Trees (Jerusalem and Syria) (2008)

The new chapter of Kathryn Cook's work on the memory of the Armenian genocide, this time among the Armenian communities of Jerusalem and Syria.

Kurds and the PKK in Turkey (2007)

The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party, is outlawed in Turkey and considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The rebel group was founded by Abdullah Ocalan in the 1970s, with the goal of creating an independent Kurdish state. Ocalan was captured in 1999, but he remains a hero and continues to represent the Kurdish struggle. Women are allowed to become fighters in the PKK, unlike in the Turkish military. The three women's stories in this reportage offer an insight into what life was like as a PKK fighter during the height of the war (the PKK began its separatist campaign in 1984) and of what it might be like to be a fighter in the mountains of...

Turkey, Istanbul (2007)

Kathryn Cook proposes a perspective on Istanbul, city of many influences, at the crossroads of East and West. Split by the Bosporus River, both riverbanks observe each other, they are in perpetual dialogue. Rather than a model of culture shock, Istanbul's history has been marked by contact between all sorts of civilizations.

Books

Memory of Trees

Le regard poétique et documentaire d’une photographe américaine sur la mémoire arménienne.

Comment photographier ce qui n’est plus et ce qu’on a tenté d’effacer ? Pour Kathryn Cook, la photographie demeure un outil essentiel pour la mémoire de l’humanité et, au-delà, pour questionner les enjeux de cette mémoire. Depuis sept ans, la photographe mène un patient travail sur les traces du génocide des Arméniens – le premier de l’histoire du XXe siècle – qui a causé la mort de plus d’1 million d’Arméniens en Turquie. Avec une écriture photographique contemporaine, où le poétique côtoie le documentaire, elle parvient à dénouer les fils d’une histoire parcellaire faite de non-dits et de dénis à travers les témoignages d’Arméniens et de Turcs rencontrés en Arménie, en Turquie, au Liban, en Syrie, en Israël ou à Marseille… Elle s’attache ici aux vestiges de cet héritage qu’elle inscrit dans une narration éblouissante mêlant photographies en noir et blanc et en couleurs. Avec cet exceptionnel travail, elle établit une relation nouvelle à la question de la représentation de la souffrance et du malheur, procédant par allitérations et symboles. Le titre Memory of Trees, « Mémoire des arbres », fait référence au village turc d’A?açl?, à l’est de la Turquie, que Kathryn Cook a longuement photographié et qui est en quelque sorte la métaphore de sa démarche artistique. En turc, A?açl? signifie « avec des arbres », ou « place des arbres ». Ce village qui était arménien avant 1915 est aujourd’hui habité par une majorité de Kurdes qui font renaître la tradition du tissage de la soie comme le pratiquaient autrefois les Arméniens.
Text by: François Cheval, Karin Karaka?l?

Publisher: Editions Le Bec en l'air (2013)
140 pages
Size: 16x21cms  

Awards


    2008 - Aftermath Project Award for her plan on the Armenian genocide

    2008 - Inge Morath Award This award is given annually to a female documentary photographer under the age of 30 for her project «Memory Denied : Turkey and Armenian Genocide»

Exhibitions



Memory of Trees (Chalon-sur-Saône )
From 2014-02-15 to 2014-05-18

How can one photograph something that doesn’t exist any more and that people have tried to erase ? Over the past seven years, Kathryn Cook has been patiently enquirering on the traces of the Armenian Genocide - the first genocide in the history of the twentieth century - which lead to the death of over one million Armenians in Turkey. After being shown at the MuCEM, the exhibition \"Memory of Trees\" is on display in the museum Nicéphore Niépce . With a contemporary photographic style, where poetry meets documentary, Kathryn Cook manages to untie the thread of a fragmented history...

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Memory of Trees (Marseille)
From 2013-10-04 to 2013-11-18

Kathryn Cook puts her trust in trees, the earth and the roads taken by the Armenians to pose questions on their genocide by the Young Turks. Cook does not intend making accusations with her work, but trying rather to understand, to penetrate the mysterious story of the Armenian people, whose ‘disappearance’ began in Istanbul on the night of 23 April 1915. Members of the Armenian elite were arrested then transported to the interior of Anatolia and massacred on the road, along with about a million others so as not to leave any trace. Kathryn Cook went in search of these traces, travelling...

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Photojournalists 3 (Paris)
From 2011-03-11 to 2011-05-11

Galerie de l'Instant launched "Photojournalists 3 "a group exhibition of nowadays greatest photographers, including Kathryn Cook.

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The memory of trees (Atri ( Regione Abruzzo))
From 2009-06-18 to 2009-08-18

Kathryn Cook puts her trust in trees, the earth and the roads taken by the Armenians to pose questions on their genocide by the Young Turks. Cook does not intend making accusations with her work, but trying rather to understand, to penetrate the mysterious story of the Armenian people, whose ‘disappearance’ began in Istanbul on the night of 23 April 1915. Members of the Armenian elite were arrested then transported to the interior of Anatolia and massacred on the road, along with about a million others so as not to leave any trace. Kathryn Cook went in search of these traces, travelling...

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Aftermath: War Is Only Half the Story (Chicago)
From 2008-09-11 to 2009-01-09

Winner of the 2008 Aftermath Grant (on Memory denied, Turkey and the Armenian genocide) Kathryn Cook s work will be showcased for the first time in an exhibition.'War is Only Half the Story: the Aftermath Project' tells the other half of the story of conflict - the story of what it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes, to restore civil societies, and to address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace.

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Memory Denied: Turkey And The Armenian Genocide (Hannover)
From 2008-06-18 to 2008-06-22

In 1915, the Ottoman 'Young Turks' government issued deportation orders for hundreds of Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul. They were rounded up and subsequently murdered. The act set in motion the extermination of Turkey’s Armenian population. Officially recognized today as genocide by dozens of countries, the Turkish government fiercely rejects this claim. Kathryn Cook’s project »Memory Denied: Turkey And The Armenian Genocide« is the visual commemoration to the victims and the vacuum their loss has created. After initiating her career with the Associated Press in Panama in 2003, she...

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