Spring Comes to Haydar Pasha Station (2019)

14.9.19 / Images
Explore Michiel Vandevelde’s image research in an exhibition currently on view in barber shops all around Graz

Spring comes to the Haydar Pasha Station café
with Arnavutkoy strawberries smelling sweeter than roses
​and grilled red mullets wrapped in grape leaves.

Suddenly the crowd stirred.
Starting at the entrance,
the men took off their hats,
like bottles being uncorked,
and bowed.
It was a sad sight.
A man led the way into the station,
not as if he’d walked through a door
but as if descending a marble staircase

Night falls in the mountains.
Distances disappear,
but love stays in the heart.
Night falls, my lamp’s not lit.
The sky and mountains turn violet.
Why won’t you come?
Night falls, the sun is gone.
Night falls, I’m all alone.
What am I to do?
Darkness closes in again:
the day is done.

The moon rises and climbs the sky,
seeking her lover.
The full-blown moon rises,
enameled with light.
The moon rises with the wind,
and everything goes white.

The Anatolia Express raced past...

Two men in black suits
sat at the last table.
One was blond, the other dark.
The dark one pointed out Monsieur Duval:
“That Frenchman...
... do you know who he is?”
“What Frenchman?”
“The man at Osman Nejip’s table –
Monsieur Duval de Thor.
He’s a multimillionaire.
He’s got quite a chateau on the Loire,
a real medieval castle.”
“The Germans must be enjoying it now.”
“Possibly – but so what?
The guy telegraphed from here the contract
to supply a German army corps with milk.”
“Is he buying milk from us?”
“No, no.
It’s from his farms in France.”
“So he feeds milk to his enemy?”
“No, no.
He’s just making money.”

Photos (from top to bottom): Haydarpaşa Station (2019), photo: Michiel Vandevelde; Crowd at Haydarpaşa Station (no year), © Eskişehir Railway Museum; Small Train at Ankara Station (2019), photo: Michiel Vandevelde; First Class Dining Car, Anatolia Express (no year), © Istanbul Railway Museum
Texts: Nâzım Hikmet, Human Landscapes from My Country, book II (1938)