Cansu Yıldıran (b.1996)


Taking my personal experiences as a reference, I work on matters like belonging and discrimination against class, culture, gender and sexual identity.


After my series "The Dispossessed" which emerged from my family's (hi)story- I am now producing audio recordings, videos, and photographs regarding my state of belonging. 


Since I took my mother's camera when I was 6 years old, I have always been passionate about exploring around and I documented what I see from my perspective. Over the years this interest has condensed especially on issues such as gender, cultural identity and discrimination. The reason is that because of the structure of Turkey, I have a chance to explore both East and West values and embracing a life style with mixing them together. Every city I moved has different traditions, conservatism levels and understandings. This chance also brings the feeling of being stuck.


I went on a journey to make sense of these two phenomena. In my first series "The Disposessed" I deepened on my roots and I made shots in Trabzon, Blacksea region. I tried to reveal the inequality of men and women in this society. At my second job, "Shelter" I worked on a part of Y generation in Istanbul who were affected from both westernization and political atmosphere in Turkey. While they were breaking down taboos sexually and culturally, creating new lifestyles and establishing spaces where they can live freely, these places also become their "shelters", the area they were excluded from society.


Both of these works were published on various media channels such as the British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, Dazed and also exhibited at various museums and photography festivals. 

Based in Istanbul.

Available for assignment.

Works as a freelance photographer for The New York Times. 

Represented by

The Empire Project, Istanbul


affiliate of PLATFORM by GAPO



Selected Exhibitions:

2021, Fashion Week Istanbul, Istanbul State Of Mind, Exhibition

2021, Verzasca Foto Festival, Ph Museum Honorable Mention Exhibition

2021, All Out and MTV Photo Award 2021, Times Square NYC

2021, All Out and MTV Photo Award 2021, Resisting Category, Winner

2021, PH Museum Photography Grant, New Generation Prize Honorable Mentions

2021, PH Museum Photography Grant Main Prize Shortlist

2021, Shortlisted for the ICP / GOST First Photo Book Award 2020

2021, A Finger for an Eye, Protocinema - Poşe Gallery, Istanbul

2020, Transformative Art Project For Activists, Our Nature, Barın Han, Istanbul

2020, The International Queer - Minorities Film Festival, Safer Space, Vienna


2020, Verzasca Foto Festival Awards, Exhibition, Switzerland


2020, Art Palm Beach Fair, Florida 


2019, Heidelberg Queer Art Festival, Heidelberg


2019, Borgo Futuro Festival, Ripe San Ginesio


2018, Elgiz Museum, Resource Utopia, Istanbul


2018, Leica Gallery, A Room Of One's Own, Istanbul


2018, On the Frontiers of Freedom The Rencontres d’Arles, Arles


2018, Arles Photo Festival, Voies Off Exhibition, Arles 


2018, Common Places/Parallel Stories, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


2018, Geniş Açı Dergiden Proje Ofisine, DEPO, Istanbul


2018, Becoming Cure as Care, Daire Sanat, Istanbul


2018, FUAM Photobook Festival, Composite exhibition, Tophane-i Amire Culture & Arts Center, Istanbul


2017, Photozine Exhibion, FailBooks, Istanbul


2017, Sicily Photobook Festival, Dummy Book Exhibition, Sicily 


2017, Kopuntu Presents “Confusion” at Macao, Milano


2017, Geography Honor Week Exhibition, GaleriBU, Istanbul


2017, Homecoming, Noks Independent Art Space, Istanbul


2016, Photography Festival, Bursa


2016, Photography Festival, Istanbul





2020, Transformative Art Project for Activists, Turkey 





2021, Nikon-Noor Academy - Masterclass, Andrea Bruce, Pep Bonet, Heba Khamis

 2018, Storytelling in İstanbul: City of a Million Tales’, VII Agency

2018, World Press Photo Master Class Foundation JSM, Amsterdam


2018 - 2019, Women Photograph Mentorship Class, Nicole Tung


2018, Resource Utopia, Goethe-Institut Istanbul, NOKS Art Space, Istanbul


2018, ‘Photobook Workshop with Kazuma Obara’, FUAM, Istanbul


2017, Diyarbakir Photography and Youth Project, Diyarbakir


2017, Geniş Açı Photography Workshop, SALT Ulus, Ankara


2017, ‘Photobook Workshop with Calin Kruse’, FUAM, Istanbul




2021, British Journal of Photography, Cansu Yıldıran reveals the painful reality behind their latest series, Tom Seymour

2020, Z-ONE, Zone Magazine, Ali Beşikçi, Bülent Erkmen


2019, British Journal of Photography, Give me Shelter, Tom Seymour


2019, Dazed Magazine, Photos of young people finding shelter in Istanbul’s underground scene, Clara Hernanz


2019, The Story of the Week is Shelter, PH Museum, Rocco Venezia


2019, Sanrı Fanzine, Cover Photo


2018, Istanbul Art News, Evrim Şener


2018, Burn Diary instagram Takeover and Burn Magazine


2017, British Journal of Photography, Woman Paper Visa Journal Cerebrates Female Photojournalists , Eoin Murray


2017, Visa Pour I’Image Photography Festival, Visa Woman Paper, Anna Alix Koffi, France





2019, ODTU Photography Community, Ankara


2019, Fujifilm Showroom, Eskişehir


2018, Salt Galata Photo Meetings, Istanbul


2018, Panel: Mahalle Geniş Açı, Istanbul


2018, Young Look at Photography, Photographer Gallery, Istanbul


2017, Ufat Photography Days, Bursa



Work experience:


2020 - Present, Works as a freelance photographer for The New York Times 


2019, Photography and Videography, 140journos




2015 - Present, Undergraduate Student at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts Photography Department, Istanbul