In Ayvalik there are many, maybe too many, old buildings mostly left to decay and fall. I tried to visit several of these as individual photography assignments, without really knowing the real reason for their appeal to me. Maybe their condition of neglect, or what they were once upon a time drew me to them. It may even be an “age” thing where I feel some kind of kinship to these buildings because they are old, and frankly in much worse shape than I am! Whatever the reason, I took great care in treating them photographically without sentimentalism but with sensitivity to what they were and had been.
The Old Olive Oil Factory
One large complex I visited with special permission from the municipality was the old Kirlangic* (Swallow) Olive Oil Factory. I remember their logo on the oil cans my mother used to purchase, a black swallow with wings spread against the greenish yellow background of the oil can. The buildings reflected a function-based design and separated into several structures. Some of them connected to each other while others stood alone. Perhaps they lost their connection to the rest of the buildings. As I walked slowly from one building to the next, sometimes through the rubble and avoiding certain dangerous looking paths, the true master of the mostly abandoned complex walked by, a large dog who totally ignored me.
On a pleasant note, I heard that the municipality was planning to convert the place into a large cultural center. Very good news indeed. I truly hope that the project materializes and the dilapidated complex turns into a vibrant cultural center. That will change the future of Ayvalik in very significant and profound ways. Best of luck to all involved.
Here is a small collection of the photographs to provide a sense of what I experienced. I hope you experience the place through my photography and through my eyes.
(* Pronounce Kirlangic as kehr-lung-itch)