Images across worlds

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Hampton library begins photo exchange with Turkish library

By Corinne Holroyd

Hampton Union , May 13, 2014

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Katherine Harake and Karen Raynes
Katherine Harake and Karen Raynes put together the photography
show titled “Big City, Small Town: We both Walk in the Same World.”

HAMPTON — Photos of an old woman on a bus, a woman carrying a child and an outdoor market decorate the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton. Some of these images, however, are not just of Hampton, but of Istanbul, Turkey as part of a photo show put together by Hampton resident Karen Raynes and Katherine Harake from Istanbul.

"The show is the result of our collaboration with photographers from all over the world with different levels of experience but with a passion to make a statement with their photography," Raynes said.

The show, titled "Big City, Small Town: We both Walk in the Same World," compares and contrasts Istanbul, Turkey — a city of over 13.85 million people — and Hampton — a town of under 15,000 people.

While the photos are on display in the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton, they will also be on display in the Turabibaba Library in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to the library Web site, where Harake wrote about the photo show, the idea came from thinking about her early life in Hampton, where she grew up. She married and moved to Istanbul 20 years ago, where she lives with her husband and two children.

"I benefited greatly from growing up in a town like Hampton with such a great library and was curious why libraries are not as prevalent in Turkey, where I have lived for nearly 20 years," Harake wrote. "I visited an award-winning library in Istanbul last year called Turabibaba, and was very impressed by their efforts to improve the reading culture in their neighborhood."

She then wrote that she talked to the Turabibaba Library director about Hampton and its library. He suggested they set up a "cultural exchange to help raise awareness."

She then started looking for photographers on both sides of the world to help with the exchange.

Big City, Small Town: We both Walk in the Same World” is currently on display at the Lane Memorial Library.
Big City, Small Town: We both Walk in the Same World” is currently
on display at the Lane Memorial Library.

"The director of the Hampton Historical Society, Betty Moore, introduced Katherine Harake and myself a year ago," Raynes said. "Katherine was looking for some Hampton photographers who would be willing to participate in an exchange with Istanbul, Turkey."

They connected and put together the show, which will educate Lane Memorial Library visitors about Turkey and the Turabibaba Library visitors about Hampton.

"Turkish people often ask me what life is like in Hampton, and people in Hampton are equally curious about my life in Istanbul," Harake wrote. "These pictures give a glimpse into both worlds, and while viewers can make their own judgments, I ultimately hope it will spark the same curiosity that motivated me to learn about the world, with the help of their local library."

The Istanbul photos were taken by ex-patriots, part of a group called the International Women of Istanbul Photo Club, and the Hampton photos were taken by five residents in town.

"Once Katherine Harake found a group available and willing to be part of the exchange in Istanbul, Turkey, we edited our photos and came up with 50 from each place," Raynes said.

The photo show premiered on May 5, where both Harake and Raynes presented the photos.

"Katherine talked about her goal with the exchange: to encourage people to use their library," Raynes said. "Along with the fine photos on display, she brought Turkish delights and baklava from Istanbul. What a way to win over a crowd."

The show will remain open throughout May in Hampton and the Istanbul show will open in the Turabibaba Library when Harake returns to Turkey on May 12.

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