Reminder : jour­nal­ist and artist Zehra Doğan has been sen­tenced to 2 years and 9 months in jail. She is impris­onned in Diyarbakir since June 12th. She had pre­vi­ous­ly spent 141 days of incar­cer­a­tion in Mardin, up until Decem­ber 9th 2016.

Sol­i­dar­i­ty did not fail to answer the call, but Zehra could not escape Turkey’s open air prison before being arrest­ed again in June. Her works, how­ev­er, have escaped the prison universe.

Her dear­est wish is that they be exhib­it­ed, then sold at auc­tion to ben­e­fit the fam­i­lies vic­tim­ized by the exac­tions in Kur­dis­tan and plunged into pre­car­i­ous­ness fol­low­ing the jail­ing of their fam­i­ly mem­bers, or their fir­ing in the ongo­ing purges hap­pen­ing under the state of emergency.

Her wish will be grant­ed in 2017/2018. Kedis­tan has made that com­mit­ment to Zehra.

Dur­ing the cin­e­ma week run­ning in Douarnenez from August 18 to 26, a selec­tion of 22 of her works will be shown at the “Miettes de Baleine” gallery, pri­or to a full exhi­bi­tion of some six­ty works that will tour towns in France and else­where in Europe.

These recent and pre­vi­ous­ly uncir­cu­lat­ed works done in « clan­des­tin­i­ty » will be added to those she cre­at­ed in jail in 2016.

Let’s pause for a moment for a look at those months she spent await­ing sen­tenc­ing in 2016, a moment that pro­duced a strong act of resis­tance in Mardin’s prison for women.

This resis­tance start­ed from the sim­ple obser­va­tion that the news­pa­per Özgür Gün­dem had been for­bid­den and shut down.

Since the sources for free information have dried up, let’s re-create them ourselves »

This ini­ti­at­ed resis­tance orga­nized by the women inside the jail who pro­duced two hand­made edi­tions on brown wrap­ping paper which cir­cu­lat­ed under the blan­ket. A shiv­er runs through you when you hold in your hands what is now a his­tor­i­cal « doc­u­ment » tes­ti­fy­ing to the tenac­i­ty of Kur­dish resis­tance, to the inven­tiv­i­ty, orga­ni­za­tion and sol­i­dar­i­ty among the pris­on­ers, as well as to the poli­ti­za­tion in jails hold­ing so many activists.

In fac­sim­i­le form, these doc­u­ments will be avail­able in the fall. Along with trans­la­tions of arti­cles, they will be includ­ed in the exhibition’s com­pan­ion book, avail­able in Douarnenez in August, and in book­stores in October.

Zehra Doğan

A book

The book con­tains a num­ber of Zehra Doğan’s texts, and more than 60 of her pic­to­r­i­al works, paint­ings and draw­ings. A way for Zehra to thumb her nose from jail at those who want to shat­ter what she is. A stag­ing point, at age 28, in her way of resist­ing both polit­i­cal­ly and cul­tur­al­ly. “Les yeux grands ouverts“ (Eyes Wide Open) swarms with life.

We will nev­er say it enough, some indi­vid­ual fig­ures sym­bol­ize entire strug­gles. Zehra Doğan is one of them. Her strug­gle in favor of women led to a jour­nal­ism award for her reportage on the Yezi­di women mar­tyrised by ISIS, after which she spent weeks in the besieged towns under cur­few, so as to tes­ti­fy both by her writ­ing and her draw­ings on the mur­ders com­mit­ted by the Turk­ish regime’s repres­sive forces. That time, her reward was a jail sen­tence for her « apol­o­gy of terrorism ».

Zehra is any­thing but an “aris­to­crat”. At the age of 25, when she found­ed with oth­ers the first entire­ly female Turk­ish press agency, she was not invit­ed into the inner sanc­tums, so com­mon is it for Kur­dish jour­nal­ists to go unno­ticed too, because they are Kurds. With its all per­va­sive nation­al­ism, even in adver­si­ty, that’s how it goes in Turkey.

There­fore, sup­port­ing Zehra Doğan means being at the core of the top­ic, not just sup­port­ing anoth­er call to « free­dom of expression ».

Sup­port­ing Zehra is also a tremen­dous way to « pro­tect » her  and to help her and her near ones resist and pre­pare for the future.

Mak­ing her known, fos­ter­ing her, writ­ing to her, help in the real­iza­tion of her aid project for the fam­i­lies in dis­tress she met, charg­ing us with the task of act­ing in proxy by rais­ing her image at every occa­sion of a demon­stra­tion in front of a con­sulate or embassy, when that is in the scope of our pos­si­bil­i­ties, of your possibilities.

Sup­port­ing Zehra Doğan is giv­ing con­crete expres­sion to the denun­ci­a­tion of nation­al­ism and the detes­ta­tion of a regime in which democ­ra­cy and jus­tice have dis­ap­peared, by putting into the lime­light a fig­ure that has lost none of her joy nor any of the nec­es­sary spark for an upcom­ing Newroz.

So, on to your « shares » on social media plat­forms for your friends, your activist cir­cles or oth­er asso­ci­a­tions… And on to your own projects too… Do not hes­i­tate to make use of Kedis­tan in that regard, that’s what our infor­ma­tion kits are for…

2017/18 can and must make calls for lib­er­a­tion res­onate and, through them, make all the oth­ers heard also.

Zehra Dogan

French Zehra Doğan, un livre, une expo­si­tion, vos soutiens…

Rédaction par Kedistan. Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.
Kedistan’ın tüm yayınlarını, yazar ve çevirmenlerin emeğine saygı göstererek, kaynak ve link vererek paylaşabilirisiniz. Teşekkürler.
Kerema xwe dema hun nivîsên Kedistanê parve dikin, ji bo rêzgirtina maf û keda nivîskar û wergêr, lînk û navê malperê wek çavkanî diyar bikin. Spas.
Writing by Kedistan. You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you.

KEDISTAN on EmailKEDISTAN on FacebookKEDISTAN on TwitterKEDISTAN on Youtube
Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.