Artist Hangs 440 Pairs of Shoes to Commemorate Women Who Died in Turkey Due to Domestic Violence

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Artist Hangs 440 Pairs of Shoes to Commemorate Women Who Died in Turkey Due to Domestic Violence


Domestic violence is still one of the major issues concerning women’s rights across the globe. Many have suffered physical, verbal, and emotional abuse from their partners. One of the countries that are notorious for this is Turkey. According to the watchdog group We Will Stop Femicide, the number of women killed by their husbands has increased by 31 from 2017 to 2018.


Photo Credit: Unilad


To commemorate the women who have been abused and who died due to domestic violence, an artist and graphic designer from Turkey has come up with an art installation that no one can ignore. UNILAD, a British internet media company and website, Vahit Tuna initiated an art installation that displays 440 pairs of women’s shoes as part of Yanköşe project to draw attention to the said issue in the country. Each pair of shoes represents a woman who died in the hands of her husband the previous year.


Photo Credit: Unilad


The walls of the Yanköşe project, a not-for-profit art platform in Istanbul, aim to “open a space for expression to artists who produce unexpected, experimental, contemporary art.” In an interview, Tuna said, “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… raise awareness regarding women murders and also materialize this issue like a sculpture or monument.” Instead of doing the exhibit inside, the artist chose to exhibit the shoes on the wall to catch the attention of passersby as well as art enthusiasts.


Photo Credit: @vahittuna on Instagram (via Unilad)


We Will Stop Femicide revealed that men in Turkey are responding to women’s fight for rights with violence instead of acknowledging the issue of domestic violence and understanding women. “The lack of efficient policies that secure equal existence and rights of women is also encouraging men, who are prone to violence,” the group said.

Tuna will add more shoes for the next six months. It was reported that he chose black high heels to represent independence and defiance.




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