ISTANBUL, Dec. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In some countries, we are all well aware of the fact that it is legally forbidden for women to wear jilbabs in the public sphere, while in other countries it is legally forbidden for women not to wear jilbabs in the public sphere. In Turkey, although there are no 'legal prohibitions' regarding these two hard-pole, time social pressures that undermine women's rights also emerge from time to time. One of these is the 'sexist' explanations which aim at restricting the women's rights and declare some of the women's activities as 'haram - ill-gotten' by seemingly religious men. The women who live in Turkey and support 'gender equality' naturally feel fairly uncomfortable with these explanations. One of them is Sebahat Ersoy, an award-winning Turkish artist who offers a creative perspective on women's rights starting from her local area with a series of photographs called 'Women of Anatolia'.
Sebahat Ersoy, who offers dialogue as a remedy for the existing harsh polarizations, thinks that establishing dialogue is the beginning of communication and that it is impossible for the non-dialogue groups to understand each other. She says that women and children are the ones who suffer most from the vicious conflicts created by these harsh polarizations.
Sebahat Ersoy, who emphasizes that women's lifestyle and dress preferences should be accepted only as an individual choice and visualizes her opinion by photographing women who adopt different lifestyles, has recently taken a place on the cover page of F-Stop Magazine, a famous digital photography magazine, with her photo called Line of Life in the photograph series titled Women of Anatolia, and became a finalist at the London International Creative Competition in 2016.
In Turkey, indicating the ants she watched for long hours during her childhood as the inspiration source of her desire to emphasize dialogue and solidarity in a period when there is a serious polarization in Turkey, Sebahat Ersoy expresses her reason of taking this photograph series and her observations about this process in her artist statement as the following:
"I shot Dialogue which is the first photo of my photo series in 2010. It was only a few years since Secular Republic Meetings had been arranged; however, from the point of my view, there was a considerable polarization in the society. Although I was for the secularism for Turkey, I wouldn't consider it too risky to abolish secularism in comparison to those who were worried about the abolishment of secularism in Turkey. For me, what was highly risky for Turkey at those times was the societal polarization. I saw some women wearing jilbabs look with disgust at women wearing miniskirts, and some women wearing miniskirts look with disgust at women wearing jilbabs. While there were already social pressures from men to women, I thought that women's polarization from time to time to look at each other with disgust would diminish the power to defend women's rights. For this reason, I photographed two women from each group which was introduced as opposite groups, help each other in my photograph called 'Dialogue'.
In the following process, I added photos that depict social pressures aiming to turn women into silhouettes by diminishing women as a form of existence and criticizing the situation to my series."
Stating that she would be glad to see the use of her photographs to defend the rights of women, Sebahat Ersoy emphasizes that she is open to any kind of solidarity in relation to this subject matter.
SOURCE Sebahat Ersoy