Monday, April 14, 2008

Bad PR for Turkey and the Arts

A friend in My Anatolian City just alerted me to a recent tragedy, which is also very bad for her nation's image in the Art World. Pippa Bacca, an Italian performance artist, was raped and murdered in Turkey, supposedly by a Turkish man. She, with a group of other women artists, was hitch-hiking from Europe to Israel/Palestine for “World Peace” wearing a wedding dress. Her action signified her basic trust in the goodness of fellow humans.
I hope Turkish artists will respond to this awful event.
As you may know, I have opinions on the way women are treated (often with violence), and how sexuality is handled, in Turkey. To make broad generalizations, especially from conservative, violent American culture, is dangerous. But… here goes: sex and sexual violence are big problems in Turkey. Women are taught to hate sex, and men are taught to marry virgins, and take “whores” on the side. So obviously women are screwed either way. Sorry for the strong words, and I know our own culture also has complex codes for sexuality, but I feel there is so much sexual frustration in Turkey that things must change, somehow.

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