Monday, May 14, 2007

Small Box

One of the things I am doing here, hopefully, as an American ambassador of sorts, is to show the Turkish women I come in contact with that there are other ways of being than the small box they are expected to fit in (school, marriage, kids, housewifery, death). Eleven years ago I befriended my nude model, a Kurdish woman from Kars, who had dropped out of university. She is an intelligent and unorthodox Turk, and she later reentered university (you have to pass the entrance exam again, but with higher marks), got a masters in art education, and is now an art teacher and administrator in a public middle school. I’m now working on my new model, who wants to be a theater director. She tried to pass the entrance exams once but didn’t get high enough marks. She’s also out of the norm (nude models in Turkey tend to be). In fact, all my female friends here are very intelligent and mostly without partners. I am encouraging them to branch out, to travel, to study abroad, to take risks, to be strong. Now if I can only follow my own advice.

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