2020 demanded our immediate attention and action on many issues, here in Turkey and throughout the world. As a Shining twins meme portrays vividly, these issues have not disappeared overnight, in fact, are further emphasized with each passing day in pandemic.
Like many other womxn in Turkey, artists Serra Tansel and Ülgen Semerci had femicides and violence against women on their minds as 2020 came to a close. Last year, 383 women in Turkey were murdered, often by a partner, ex-partner or a male family member.
The year ended with femicide news, and devastatingly, even more murders hit the headlines as 2021 started. According to non-profit organizations like Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation and We Will Stop Femicide Platform, the fact that Turkish law authorities do not follow protocols, most importantly, Law No 6284 and the Istanbul Convention encourages the men in question. Over the past 20 years, to local feminists’ and the international community’s disappointment, accountability was almost completely removed from the equation in femicide cases at the court. The most discussed cases on Twitter tend to be the only exception.
“In the summer, as Istanbul Convention became a matter of discussion, I was trying to think of a way to help support this cause,” Serra Tansel, the artist who came up with the project explains. “As I chatted with artist friends, I realized coming together for a solidarity project would empower us all. Considering the pandemic, I figured the sales should take place online. Artist and former Mor Çatı volunteer Ülgen Semerci introduced me to the team at Mor Çatı and they gave us a green light. We set out with the initial goal of including works from 50 artists, but as artists brought their friends and colleagues in, we ended up with 62 artists. The participating artists showed great dedication by donating their works in the hard times we are going through.”
The auction goes on until January 8, 2021. While Mor Çatı cannot directly organize international sales and shipment, Tansel says she can try to coordinate for overseas donors via e-mail. It is also possible to make smaller donations on Mor Çatı’s site, she points out.
You can view the available artworks via this page.