A Photographer's Positive Perspective featuring Dilan Bozyel
It can be used to generate curiosity, conversation, and debate, and one picture can challenge the social norms and stereotypes of an entire people, country, and region. The
Middle East is no exception, and women are using their cameras to express themselves and break down the misguided perceptions of others, both within their own male-dominated societies and among their international audiences. This is by no means a new phenomenon, but its popularity is constantly growing. In recent years, major museums throughout the world
have hosted exhibits of Middle Eastern women’s photography.
After the events in 2011, the world was saturated with images of what was to be known as the Arab Spring; photos depicting these social movements turned revolutions. Though these images showed the revolutions from all angles, they also acted as a catalyst for women in the
Middle East, bringing women to the forefront once again. There was a new dialogue in these countries surrounding women's rights, opening a new platform to women photographers.
1. Could you please explain your work? What are the themes you use or the message you are trying to embody in your work?
Sometimes, I am cruelly criticized (especially by men) for being a dreamer and melancholic Eastern woman. Given the harsh climate, history full of wars, and the geographical condition of the land I was born in (
2. Do you believe photography has a prominent role in the recent social developments in
Turkey, i.e. ? Gezi Park
There is a common saying, ‘I won’t believe it until I see it.’ Photography is the only concrete record of the every moment that has been lived. Every detail of the Gezi events was recorded in every frame taken, whether amateur or professional. Every moment from the cruel and lopsided violence of the Police to the how we lived happily when park was left to us, the youth. Half of woke up with the Gezi spirit. Visual sources had the most important role in this progress. The Turkish society came this far with stories and legends but the visual power of the photograph has finally found its deserved place. A society who has been awakened will not accept to fall sleep again.
After all the wars and pain suffered in the east of the country, we are beginning to breathe comfortably, almost for the first time. With the start of these good days, there is an emphasis on the importance of women. This is a good improvement. For the first time, the social and political right to speak was given to the Kurdish women in this country. They can take charge and become a mayor.
No, I can’t call myself a feminist. I believe the world needs men as much as women. What I want to indicate is that for all this time, women were married as children, pushed away, left in the back seat, silenced and humiliated. Women are finally taking their deserved and right place in nature. In
, with this reduction of race and sex separation I am witnessing the sound of the wings of a once injured, but now recovered, white bird flying off in the sky. It is a good feeling. Turkey
For further reading on female photographers in the
Middle East, please see the links below.