Visualizing Trauma – Honor Killings, Homophobia and Prejudice: Challenging Social Injustices & Norms in a Conservative Society

  • Abstract:

    Since its foundation Turkey has always been a country that supresses the variety and multiplicity of identities because of the deeply rooted nation state ideals and religious beliefs. Both these views are taught at the very early stages of education and memorized by each individual living in the country while growing up, so an examination or an investigation of the nation state identity is eradicated at the very beginning. But identities are plural and vary, have an ever growing and outspoken nature. Also very recently the increasing effect of religion and the rise of Islamism have made a strong impact on the population more than ever and the issues of gender and sexual orientation has become another important topic to discuss. Though these issues were always critical in Turkey, they have become much more significant due to growing conservatism in society. This study aims to discuss images and artworks, photographs and actions by artists, activists and photographers from Turkey that challenges the conservative nature of society and gives voice to minorities while dealing with issues of gender, sexual orientation and identities. They have a critical approach, a message or a parable hidden elegantly inbetween their lines, words or colors that touches upon gender roles, social norms and injustices in a society that hardly discusses such issues. The paper aims to explain how a few people giving hints on acute social problems slowly evolve into huge crowds, while gradually changing the minds of artists, activists and people alike.