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index / A living witness of Turkey’s heritage
Photographer and ethnographer Josephine Powell is an Anatolian traveler who devoted twenty years of her life to documenting the life of nomads and villagers. The product of this arduous life journey, now on the trail of a camel caravan, now on the back of a horse, is a matchless welter of information consisting of countless recordings, and hundreds of textiles and other ethnographic materials.
She had no road map for life. ‘Going with the flow’, Powell charted her course by following where her heart led. A graduate of Columbia University, Powell took a job as a social services expert at a Geneva-based organization involved in relocating refugees after the Second World War. Until 1952, that is, when she hit the road...
A journey that lasts over forty years is easier said than done! Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Middle East, India, North Africa and finally Anatolia... Had you realized your travels were going to take so long?
I came to Turkey the first time to photograph Byzantine mosaics. There’s something you have to realise. Coming here for the first time in 1955 was very different from doing the same today.
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