Zehra’s book is now avail­able through pre-order and also on the pub­lish­ers’ web­site, even though “Nous aurons aus­si de beaux jours”, les écrits de prison (We will also know fine days, the prison writ­ings) the offi­cial pub­lish­ing date is on Octo­ber 31st.

Note to English readers: Excerpts of Zehra Doğan’s prison correspondence were translated from the Turkish to French by their recipient, Naz Oke assisted by Daniel Fleury. The book is published in French. So why translate into English an article dealing with it?
Because some English speakers other languages. And even those who don’t may wish to stay abreast of news from outside their immediate realm.

Français | English

For Parisians or vis­i­tors to the city who would like to have a few words by Zehra on their copy, noth­ing could be sim­pler: the exhi­bi­tion of her escaped works begins on Novem­ber 6th in the gallery of Espace Femmes – Antoinette Fouque, rue Jacob in Paris. Zehra Doğan will be on hand for a few days with the trans­la­tor and thus, Kedis­tan also.

This has noth­ing to do with a soci­ety event but marks the achieve­ments sup­port­ed by a sol­i­dar­i­ty cam­paign that has been ongo­ing for over three years and that goes beyond Zehra’s per­son, as she has always said. The work is far from done in order to free polit­i­cal hostages in Turkey and the agres­sions against Roja­va in North­ern Syr­ia, along with the iden­ti­tar­i­an ten­sions with­in Turk­ish soci­ety. More thane ver, these cre­ate an imper­a­tive need to keep the lime­light on Turk­ish pris­on­ers. We will soon offer up more more address­es. And even if you do not speak the lan­guage, the web being woven is what counts.

Read these prison writ­ings. You will under­stand how impor­tant can be some­thing as small as a card, a draw­ing, a few words in order to dis­pel obliv­ion. You will also read about what it is to be a woman, a Kurd and caged for her resistance.

More­over, over more than a three year peri­od, Zehra has pro­duced hun­dreds of pic­to­r­i­al works that rep­re­sent as many defi­ances against the pro­hi­bi­tion of artis­tic sup­plies. Every­thing avail­able was put to the ser­vice of draw­ing and paint­ing. Card­board, the reverse side of let­ters, foil paper from packs of cig­a­rettes, old news­pa­pers, fab­ric, tow­els, clothes. And as pig­ments, a palette rang­ing from crushed fruit and veg­eta­bles, bird drop­ping, moss, blood, grease from meals… Cre­at­ing in order to resist, in order to denounced all that is “dis­gust­ing” about jail.

A small selec­tion of these “escaped works” will be shown in Paris, at the same time as in Italy and, soon, in Germany.

Zehra is also active in fol­low­ing her heart that has escaped to Roja­va. Through wall art in Lon­don, and speak­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties she attempts to denounced the inva­sion and the war crimes, despite the lim­it­ed space that is hers. Don’t be dis­ap­point­ed if she does not talk about her­self. She is this strug­gle for her tongue, her cul­ture, her still-suf­fer­ing people.

Her words will prob­a­bly not be giv­en as much atten­tion as images from Hol­ly­wood surf­ing on the suf­fer­ings of the female Kur­dish fight­ers. But that will also depend on you.

For Parisians again, do not miss the French PEN club evening on Novem­ber 15 in this same venue, as part of the World Day in sup­port for jailed authors. Zehra will also par­tic­i­pate, she who was still in jail a year ago when her own texts were read at such an event.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
*A word to English-speaking readers: in all instances where the original text is in Turkish or Kurdish, the English version is derived from French translations. Inevitably, some shift in meaning occurs with each translation. Hopefully, the intent of the original is preserved in all cases. While an ideal situation would call for a direct translation from the original, access to information remains our main objective in this exercise and, we hope, makes more sense than would a translation provided by AI…
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