For the open­ing of the Fes­ti­val of the Oth­er Worlds, Zehra Doğan has sent an audio mes­sage from the infa­mous jail in Diyarbakır.

The Fes­ti­val will be exhibit­ing some 70 of her orig­i­nal works. Half of them were cre­at­ed using the lim­it­ed means at her dis­pos­al inside the jail and despite her guards’ vig­i­lance. She is for­bid­den all artis­tic sup­plies, lead­ing to an art of resis­tance which she presents in this open­ing message.

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On behalf of the 50 women imprisoned here

Dear Par­tic­i­pants,

On behalf of the 50 women held pris­on­er here, I send you greet­ings from the prison in Amed, the name of which is inscribed in the his­to­ry of resistance.

If we can reach you and have you hear our voic­es from this place where they want to silence us, it is thanks to the col­lec­tive strug­gle, no mat­ter where it may be in the world, thanks to you.

The only motive for my impris­on­ment is the fact I shared a child’s wish for peace and made a draw­ing of the destroyed town of Nusay­bin. I’m sure you will agree I was jailed by a fam­i­ly of dunces who do not know the mean­ing of Law and Justice.

Yet, tak­ing a stand against the per­se­cu­tion car­ried out before our eyes is a great respon­si­bil­i­ty that must be inher­ent in human nature. Not fight­ing against per­se­cu­tion would mean that we do not have faith in con­science, good­ness, jus­tice and change. It would mean that we have giv­en up from the onset.

This is why in this nar­row space to which I am con­fined, I do not feel van­quished in the least.

If truth be told, those who feel van­quished are those who set­tle for watch­ing the mas­sacres, the killings by the bomb­ings. They are the ones who sink into despair. And the vic­tors are those who nev­er cease resist­ing, no mat­ter what their cir­cum­stances, no mat­ter where they may be.

This is pre­cise­ly what the Kurds are doing now, as they strug­gle to sur­vive against injus­tice. The Kur­dish women do not give up the fight, despite all the dif­fi­cul­ties. This is pre­cise­ly why they are specif­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed. For they fear that the women they oppress and whose bod­ies they lock up, the ones whose exis­tence they deny, will set up their own resilience.

Since the begin­ning of time, we have always had – and always will have – our word to say about the patri­ar­chal pow­ers, about the mer­chant brains that trans­form us into work machines and who even look at our pro­cre­ation as a val­ue added feature.

In Turkey at the moment, over one hun­dred jour­nal­ist and artists, such as myself and thou­sands of polit­i­cal pro­test­ers are detained. Some deputies are present­ly in jail. But we do not real­ly see our­selves as pris­on­ers. Because we know that the ivy of our thoughts spreads out and beyond, and blos­soms like beau­ti­ful flowers.

Our search for beau­ty con­tin­ues here also. As Tarkovsky said: “The one who does not want truth does not see beau­ty either” (Sculpt­ing in Time). This is why we nev­er cease seek­ing beau­ty through our thoughts.

In find­ing nour­ish­ment in the strug­gle of Kur­dish women, with my writ­ings and my art, I attempt to puri­fy our land soiled by blood. I would like that all that has been for­got­ten, van­ished, not be for­got­ten and that the truths cling to my can­vass­es. This is why I am in jail.

Now that I am here, they do not give me my artis­tic sup­plies. This not being enough, they con­fis­cate the pig­ments I obtained from food residues… and my draw­ings too.

But I do not have the choice of jus­ti­fy­ing throw­ing in the sponge for those reasons.

My tes­ti­mo­ny tells me I do not have this lux­u­ry. My strug­gle has taught me there does not exist any real imped­i­ment to cre­ation. And if such did exist, it would be noth­ing oth­er than one’s own self.

Your sup­port which gives mean­ing to what I do has helped me find my true Self. I will come out of this place which is the great­est sym­bol of the denial of my exis­tence, being myself, thanks to the strug­gle, thanks to you…

Thank you for this orga­ni­za­tion. Kedis­tan, Naz Oke, Mino­terie, and all those who have contributed.

I salute all of you with the “youy­ous” of the Kur­dish wom­en’s resistance.

Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan’­dan Baş­ka Dünyalar Fes­ti­val­i’ne ileti Oku­mak için tıklayınız
Zehra Doğan • Mes­sage au Fes­ti­val des Autres Mon­des Cliquez pour lire
Zehra Doğan • Mesan­je para el Fes­ti­val de Otros Mun­dos Haga clic para leer

Image à la une : Expo­si­tion à Angers, Tour Saint Aubin, jan­vi­er 2018

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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