To draw awareness to the increasing domestic violence problem in Turkey, artist Vahit Tuna hung 440 pair of shoes to represent each woman who were killed by their husband in Turkey last year. The haunting artwork aims to draw public attention to the problem of domestic abuse which often go unreported all in the name of ‘domestic’. The artwork of women’s shoes hanging off wall in Istanbul were featured in two buildings, one in Istanbul’s KabataÅŸ neighbourhood and the other in the BeyoÄŸlu district.
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'isimsiz', #yanköÅŸe Sadece 2018 yÄ±lÄ±nda Türkiye’de 440 kadÄ±n erkekler tarafÄ±ndan öldürüldü. TeÅŸekkürler @nilufersasmazer @kahvedunyasi @fiksatif @fulyaerdemci, Bülent Erkmen, Evrim AltuÄŸ ve @ozgeakdniz bu projenin gerçekleÅŸmesine katkÄ±larÄ±nÄ±zdan dolayÄ± ðŸ™ÂÂÂÂÂ #kadincinayetleri #kadÄ±nkÄ±rÄ±m
According to Hurriyet Daily News, Tuna spoke about the YanköÅŸe project and his installation to local media,
‘’Here is YanköÅŸe project. One artist each year uses these two walls to exhibit their art works. 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… raises awareness regarding women murders and also materialises this issue like a sculpture or monument’’
The grim representation of women who were victims of domestic violence also came from Turkey’s customary practise where shoes of the deceased ones are hung on the wall of their homes. In addition, the artist also explained to Turkish media that heels are a sign of independence and defiance, mixing feminine power and agency.
The artist added the shoes would remain on the walls for six months. He reportedly chose black high heels to represent independence and defiance.
‘We wanted everyone passing by the road to see [the work]. This is why we did not want to host the exhibition in a closed area,’
‘What this project does is that it both raises awareness regarding women murders and also materializes this issue like a sculpture or monument. This work will stay here for six months.’
The initiative by the artist came just after the 2018 ‘We Will Stop Femicide Platform’ movement which arose as the deaths of women killed annually increased. In 2017, 409 women were killed by a partner which has increased up to 440 in 2018.