“Art Against Violence!” Exhibition launched in Adana

The second of the exhibitions organized by MaviKalem within the scope of the "Art Against Violence!" project was launched on December 14th at Yaşar Kemal Cultural Center in cooperation with Seyhan Municipality.

14-15 Aralık tarihlerinde gerçekleşen serginin açılışı Seyhan Belediye Başkanı Akif Kemal Akay, İrlanda Büyükelçiliği Misyon Başkan Yardımcısı Ronan Cunniffe, MaviKalem Yönetim Kurulu Başkan Yardımcısı Tiraje Zeynep Yüregir ve MaviKalem Yönetim Kurulu Üyesi – Ressam/Heykeltıraş Meryem Tomak’ın konuşmaları ile yapıldı.

Tiraje Zeynep Yüreğir

The exhibition, which took place on December 14-15, was held with speeches by Akif Kemal Akay, Mayor of Seyhan Municipality, Ronan Cunniffe, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Ireland, Tiraje Zeynep Yüregir, Vice Chairman of MaviKalem Board of Directors, and Meryem Tomak, MaviKalem Board Member – Painter/Sculptor.

Tiraje Zeynep Yüregir, Vice Chairperson of the Board of MaviKalem, said the following in her opening speech:  “At MaviKalem, we work to improve the lives of women and children, especially disadvantaged groups. This exhibition is an effort to stop violence against women and to keep this issue on the agenda. Most of the 129 women who participated in the workshops had never painted before. They took part in this work by expressing their own feelings and thoughts.”

Akif Kemal Akay

In his opening speech, Seyhan Mayor Akif Kemal Akay said, “This exhibition has a very serious meaning. This exhibition means something to us with its three dimensions including art, women, and violence. I would like to thank those who prepared and supported this exhibition and my friends who gave women the opportunity to express their feelings.”

Ronan Cunniffe

Ronan Cunniffe, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Ireland, which supports the project, said in his speech at the opening ceremony: “We know that the way to achieve equality starts with combating all forms of violence, harassment and abuse against women and girls. This struggle starts with breaking the silence on violence and making women’s voices heard more strongly. A woman’s voice can be heard through words or writing, but it can also be expressed through art and the power of expression, as in this exhibition. I would like to thank MaviKalem for realizing this project and pioneering such an important issue.”

MaviKalem Board Member – Painter/Sculptor Meryem Tomak, who implemented the painting workshops, said: “We were able to conduct these workshops in very short periods of time, 2-3 hours, because there was too much burden on women. Women had no time to spare for themselves, no time to create their own spaces. In these workshops we talked a little bit about this, we talked about violence. They worked on the feelings this created in themselves.”

The exhibition featured 12 large-scale paintings and photographs taken during the painting workshops organized with the support of Avcılar Municipality, Esenyurt Municipality and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in Istanbul, Seyhan Municipality in Adana, Defne Municipality and Antakya Municipality in Hatay. The first exhibition within the scope of the project was held on November 25-26 at Büyükada Taş Mektep in cooperation with Adalar Municipality and with the venue support provided by IBB Department of Culture and Arts.

Throughout 2023, 129 women participated in 10 different workshops in the project, which aims to keep violence against women on the agenda, to support solidarity among women and to mediate women’s reactions to violence through art. In the workshops that started in Istanbul and continued in Adana and Hatay earthquake zones, women talked about violence, shared their experiences, and painted. The project is supported by the Embassy of Turkey in Ireland and the exhibitions will be repeated in Hatay after Istanbul and Adana.

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