The works of Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan, jailed multiple times since 2016 on terrorism charges, are on displayed in the country for the first time, online platform Susma 24 reported on Oct. 13.
Prosecuted for allegedly being a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for her paintings focusing on the 2016 curfews in the southeast, Doğan has been jailed twice since as the PKK is deemed a terrorist organization by Ankara.
After finishing her second sentence in February of 2019, she became well-known around the global art community following her installation at London’s Tate Modern in May of 2019, titled “Ê Li Dû Man,” “what remains” in Kurdish.
Curated by M. Wenda Koyuncu and Seval Dakman, Doğan’s Istanbul exhibit “Nehatîye Dîtın” (“unseen” in Kurdish) is comprised of her work that she created during her two prison sentences between 2016 and 2019.
“The artist creates hybrid narratives by altering traditionally embroidered towels from her mom with fruits, tea, coffee, waste and menstruation blood, using brushes made of her hair and writing utensils,” Koyuncu noted of the exhibit in an official statement.
Although Doğan’s work can appear to feminist artists like Miriam Schapiro, Andrea Dezso, Tracy Emin, she’s different from the aforementioned in that her unusual methods resulted from obligation, Koyuncu noted.
“She had to give new spirits to each object from her mother, friends and lawyers, with a tough and resilient stance that reinvented them,” Koyuncu added.
Doğan’s exhibit can be viewed at Istanbul’s Kıraathane Literature House on appointment until Nov. 9.