Zehra Doğan • Full moon and nights in jail

zehra dogan dolunay pleine lune full moon luna

Once you will have read the excerpt from this letter, you will understand the reason and the form for the support to which you are invited, in complicity with our friend Zehra, for the full moon on the 20th of this month of January 2019.

At night, while she was in the jail of Amed (Diyarbakır) in Eastern Turkey, Zehra Doğan, the Kurdish woman, journalist and artist, looked up at the moon and the stars…

She was recently transferred to the jail in Tarsus, more than 500 km away from Diyarbakır, her native town. Zehra’s letters keep on reaching us nonetheless…

One of those leters talked to us about the moon, eternity and dancing women.

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Dear Friend,

Night. A full moon above our heads. I start writing to you under its light.

It shines so prettily. It has not even managed to hide. It is behind the clouds but its halo reveals it in all its nakedness. So beautiful, so precious, so white. It’s light pierces the clouds, spreads all around and creates a strange atmosphere, like transparent magic.

As if I were outside, somewhere, thousands of years ago and as if, from the zenith, I were looking down on this moment.

Its light does such a job of embellishing these horrid barbed wires.

This leads me to think about the reason for the disgust we feel when encountering ugliness. In fact, if I look carefully, they are not so unsightly. Enmeshed barbed wires, shaped by certain human interventions. They stand there, silent and calm. They only serve as matter for certain feelings.

Simple barbed wires. Objects the name of which immediatly sours our faces and makes us say “so lousy”. The object used to mark frontiers, divide, define spaces and which, when we overstep those limits, punish us with their pointed tips.

But now, I stop and I look; and those ugly barbed wires, covered with claws, strike me as so innocent and harmless that I can’t manage to be angry at them. They seem to say “We have nothing to do with this, they’re the ones who’ve made us this way.” I feel as if I’m discovering their naive and pure aspect. Like a woman, drifting in the ideology that has turned her into a merchandise for thousands of years and who would rebel suddenly and say “I have nothing to do with this, men have made me this way.” The cry would be the same.

So, in calling these barbed wires “ugly” am I not causing them an injustice? As men have interfered with everything, they have played with the wires’ chemistry and installed them above our heads. This tells me that I’m at the wrong address when I turn against the wires and look at them with a curse.

Tonight, the barbed wires are so innocent.

Bathed in moonrays, their shadows scatter on the walls of the promenade, like dancing women. They shine even more, the lifeless barbed wires, sentinels to my condemnation.

Zehra Doğan
May 29 2018 Diyarbakır Jail

This is why we call upon all supporters of Zehra Doğan and, through her, of all her political prisoner friends in Turkey, for a night-time rendez-vous of solidarity.

Different from the usual solidarity initiatives, this one will take place under the light of the moon who will act as the sacred godmother to this rendez-vous.

Witches, dryads, fairies, women, feminists, poets,

Magicians, leprechauns, enchanters and singers,

Wherever we may be, let us go and meet our godmother, if only for a few minutes, let us send up our messages of support, courage and energy through the moon’s intervention. The moon who will carry our messages to those who will be waiting behind bars, with their eyes on the full moon.

Wherever you may be on the five continents, alone or with friends, at home, in your garden, in the streets, under a starry winter sky, behind your windows, on your balconies bathed in moonlight…

On the night of Sunday January 20 2019 at 9 PM in France (11 PM in Turkey) we invite you to the rendez-vous…

If you wish to do some readings, follow this link for some texts by Zehra Doğan and this one for a collection of poems about the moon.

Let us know about your initiatives, the places, images… by email or via the Free Zehra Doğan facebook page… We will publish them.

Here are two books our friends Zehra has suggested we read on this theme…

The first is a book Zehra often talks about in her letters: “Caliban and the Witch” by Silvia Federici. And the second  is the one she was reading when she was transferred to the jail in Tarsus with 19 friends, despite the fact she was handcuffed in the transportation vehicle: “Women who run with wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Pleasant reading…

And don’t forget that the new year is  an excellent excuse to send letters, cards, drawings toward the prison, at the following address:

Zehra Doğan C-3
Tarsus Kadın Kapalı CİK 
Alifakı Mahallesi Alifakı sokak 
Tarsus – MERSİN
TURKEY

For more information about Zehra:
zehradogan.net (trilingual) and Kedistan’s Special File (multilangual)


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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