This series was created during 2013 and the end of 2016. The starting point of the project was a feeling, from a precise moment of my childhood, the oldest souvenir I have: it was the day I felt alive, the day I realized I can die.

I started questioning myself about my own identity from a very early age. In the late ’60s, my parents immigrated to Belgium from Turkey, offering me a double nationality and identity. I was always asked to choose one of them; I have always had the feeling of being an exile wherever I go. Maybe more than the place I live, the place where I will be buried will define who I am, in the end.

When it comes to taking pictures, my practice of street photography is very instinctive. But in terms of building my series, each image is selected precisely and thoughtfully. My chosen photographs are flashes about myself—and my death…

—Hakan Simsek

Editors’ note: “La Nostalgia” was chosen as the 1st place series winner in the Street Photography Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring work by the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks!