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



Solo Exhibitions:

2021, The Dispossessed, Bilsart, Istanbul, TR

Selected Exhibitions and Awards:

2021 Don’t Look Back, Deep is the Past, Odunpazarı Modern Museum, Eskişehir, TR

2021 Peep Art Space, Istanbul,TR

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

2021 Verzasca Foto Festival, Ph Museum Honorable Mention Exhibition, CH

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

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, TR

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

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

2020 Verzasca Foto Festival Awards, Exhibition, Switzerland, CH

2020 Art Palm Beach Fair, Florida, US

2019 Heidelberg Queer Art Festival, Heidelberg, DE

2019 Borgo Futuro Festival, Ripe San Ginesio, IT

2018 Elgiz Museum, Resource Utopia, Istanbul, TR

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

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

2018 Arles Photo Festival, Voies Off Exhibition, Arles, FR

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

2018 Geniş Açı Dergiden Proje Ofisine, DEPO, Istanbul, TR

2018 Becoming Cure as Care, Daire Sanat, Istanbul, TR

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

2017 Photozine Exhibion, FailBooks, Istanbul, TR

2017 Sicily Photobook Festival, Dummy Book Exhibition, Sicily, IT

2017 Kopuntu Presents “Confusion” at Macao, Milano, IT

2017 Geography Honor Week Exhibition, GaleriBU, Istanbul, TR

2017 Homecoming, Noks Independent Art Space, Istanbul, TR

2016 Photography Festival, Bursa, TR

2016 Photography Festival, Istanbul, TR





2020 Transformative Art Project for Activists, TR





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





2021 Bilsart Artist Talk, Istanbul, TR

2019 ODTU Photography Community, Ankara, TR

2019 Fujifilm Showroom, Eskişehir, TR

2018 Salt Galata Photo Meetings, Istanbul, TR

2018 Panel: Mahalle Geniş Açı, Istanbul, TR

2018 Young Look at Photography, Photographer Gallery, Istanbul, TR

2017 Ufat Photography Days, Bursa, TR


2021, Somut Olmayan Bir Ev Arayışı, Büşra Erkara

2021, Fotoğraf Konuşmaları, Ahmet Sel

2018, Cansu Yıldıran, Onbironsekiz


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, TR