Cemre Yeşil Gönenli – Hayal & Hakikat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & A Handbook of Punishment


GOST – 2020

Shortlisted for PhotoBook of the Year in the Aperture Paris PhotoBook Awards 2020

The photographs in his book depict the hands of prisoners from the early 20th century, drawn from the photograph albums of Abdul Hamid II, the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid II had been moved by pseudo-scientific information he read in a crime novel that “any criminal with a thumb joint longer than the index finger joint, is inclined to murder.” To this end, the photographs in this book show the subjects’ hands for the purpose of classification. The fate of the individual prisoners remains unknown as there is no record of the verdict of Abdul Hamid II after viewing the hands awaiting forgiveness.

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