If it has witnessed, if it has witnesses, a city has lived. Their wealth and grandeur is often described with their structures and treasures. Yet the true wealth consists of the memories the cities collect…If memories are abundant, the history of the city is long, if they are scarce, the history of cities may only be as long as a “moment”.

Just like people…

Although it is mostly people who witness cities, people are not their only witnesses.

Sometimes a cornerstone, sometimes a tree, sometimes a mountain, sometimes a bug, sometimes a cat, sometimes a dog, and sometimes a horse may be a witness…


That beautiful animal with a history nearly identical to that of humans, accompanying humans at nearly every historical period…

The black, brown, white, grey, and speckled…

The history of the “horse”, which has intertwined so much with mankind, which has become flesh and bone with humans, is the history of humanity.

The greatest witness of civilizations created by humans is also the “horse”.

Life has given it the task of “witnessing” what humans do. Sometimes as a huge and sometimes as a small statue of marble; sometimes as a terracotta figurine; sometimes as the relief on the surface of a sarcophagus; sometimes as the depiction on a façade, surrounding all sides of a temple; sometimes on currency; sometimes on an oil lamp; sometimes on a fresco; sometimes on a picture painted on a vase, and sometimes; as a genuine skull, horses have witnessed cities and people.

Horses, which have served as witness to the human adventure of thousands of years, have been transformed by people into “works of art” carried through to today.

Depictions of horses take the cities to which they belong into the current day and with a different perspective: “each horse itself is the city to which it belongs.”

Horses are a sort of, “holy spirit” protecting their cities…

Horses deem victorious in wars, hoist the heroes who steal the hearts of women, ensure that races are won, and that monumental structures are built so they can run, and of course, carry nearly the entire burden of daily life…

They are so valuable for people that, in some societies with their place in history, each “hero” who passes away has been buried with his horse.

When mankind describes themselves, they have done so mostly through horses, while in the depiction of horses the spirit of the times have been etched on their faces and bodies.

It is for that reason that when we want to comprehend the journey of civilization, the vestiges of images of horses from cities remaining, are the most significant witnesses…

The journey of cities is on the faces, the bodies of horses…

Horses & Cities; is about the collection of cities and civilizations established throughout the region referred to as the Aegean/Mediterranean, and the “horse” cult of the civilizations built there by: the Lycia, Lydia, Karia, Phyrgia, Ion, Roman and Pamphylians.

This work is neither that of an archeology, nor that of a history. This work has benefited from the disciplines of archeology, history, philosophy and architecture, and is one of “fiction” with photography at its main axis.

A work of “fiction” through which the knowledge of this geography passes…It is nothing more.

Today, images of the “horse” have been plucked away and taken from their true settings, some perhaps confined to the walls in a museum just adjacent to the city, and some scattered to lands far from that to which they belong.

In order for their souls to find peace and their manes to flow freely, for those who encounter their image to let them run where they belong, is reverence to the horses.

Kamil Fırat




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