KARACHI: Vahit Tuna, a Turkish artist has taken a rather haunting step through his symbolic visualisation of domestic violence in his country. By mounting around 440 pairs of high heel shoes on the walls of a building in Istanbul, the capital of the country, he depicts the number of women killed by their husbands in 2019. The display was located in a busy area that has received a lot of attention since both online and in person.
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This is the artists’ attempt to raise awareness about the domestic violence that women in Turkey have faced in the past year. Huffington Post termed it 440 pairs of silenced heels. They further reported that the display was based on an old Turkish tradition of placing shoes (of the deceased) outside one’s door.
The installation was a chilling reminder for all audiences of the issues that women generally face in patriarchal societies worldwide. Journalist Frederike Geerdink voiced that not all women wear high heels on her Twitter to which the artist responded, [translated from Turkish] “I should have used myself as a ‘psychic’ because the taste and perception of society is shaped by patriarchy, which gives them the chance to capture them with their own minds.” He further expressed to her that the view of what’s considered ‘right’ is not as important as the conversation and attention that the art receives.
According to the British newspaper Metro, Tuna’s display was “an art installation no one can ignore.”