Vahit Tuna, an artist and graphic designer, came up with an interesting art installation in Turkey. It is capturing the attention of not only Turkey but the entire world because of the art’s tragic underlying meaning.
There are about 440 pairs of shoes or high-heels placed on buildings in the city of Istanbul. Each high heel represents one woman who has been killed by her husband’s domestic abuse in the year of 2018.
Moreover, the art piece is outside the building to raise awareness about the concerning issue. Basically, domestic abuse is a common form of violence against women that has prevalent misogynistic views.
Men that abuse their female partners believe them to be weaker and less likely to defend themselves. Not to mention, it is difficult for such men to see their partners having an opinion or not agreeing with them.
It is an issue that roots from the damaging nature of toxic masculinity that teaches men to always be ‘strong’. To the point, that a simple act as crying is considered taboo for men.
This is why their internal frustrations along with sexist ideologies, all derived from the wrath of toxic masculinity, are injuring women.
Though, abusers past or the way that they were brought up is never an excuse for them to raise their hand against innocent people. Regarding the project, this is what Vahit himself had today,
“Here is Yanköşe project. One artist each year uses these two walls to exhibit their artworks. And this time, I wanted to exhibit a work here. There are 440 pairs of shoes here.
These 440 women shoes are equal to the number of women killed in 2018 in Turkey. What this project does is raise awareness regarding women murders and also materializes this issue like a sculpture or monument”
Vahit also chose black heels because of their appearance and meaning. He mentioned that heels give a form of independence to women and they appear as powerful as well as feminine.
The work is supposedly going to be on display for six months. It is displayed on two art installation walls part of Yanköşe which is a non-profit art platform.
It is located in the neighborhood of Kabataş, situated in the region of Beyoğlu. It raises an important question for the bystanders who will get to see the dark heels casting ghost-like shadows on the tough walls of the building.
In the end, it will always serve as a reminder that the women who died did not get to leave this world peacefully so their ghosts lurk around in the form of simple shoes.
People are hoping that this project can bring in enough awareness over these grave matters that are wrong yet still common. Despite Turkey being a prosperous or ‘open-minded’ country, it still remains as a haunted house for women; similar to most countries in the world.
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