Updated: Oct 26, 2021
The scap iron collectors boots had first appeared to me as he’d pushed his cart past the vehicle repair shop which I had the misfortune to frequent more often than I wanted. With laughter and a bit of banter I managed to overcome the initial awkwardness of asking a complete stranger if I could photograph his beaten up footwear, but as we all know foreigners are a weird lot!
Months later he beamed when I explained that his boots had hung in a gallery in London not far from the Queen’s palace (Mall galleries). I wonder if he still has the A4 coloured photocopy I’d given to him stuck to the wall of his trash depot?
A few years later we met by chance, he tapped me on the shoulder and to my delight we were plunged into conversation about the times we live in. He was eager to share the events of one fateful night in July when he took to the bridge where the people of Istanbul fought off an attempted coup back in 2016. With pride he talked of tanks, death, fear and victory. He also joked that maybe the Queen of England hadn’t liked the picture of his boots and had ordered a coup in response!