First open-air lighting installation exhibition opened in Ankara to say no to violence against women

Photo: UN Women

Photo: UN Women

“Light the Dark” exhibition, focusing on violence against women, opened to the public at Seğmenler Park on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with the participation of Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mansur Yavaş, Mayor of Çankaya Municipality Alper Taşdelen, Ambassador of Sweden Annika Molin Hellgren and UN Women Turkey Country Director Asya Varbanova. Artists and socialites also joined the exhibition opening including Gupse Özay, Serenad Bağcan and Sonat Bağcan.

Turkey’s first public and open-air lighting installation exhibition opened to visitors to end violence against women. Organized by UN Women in collaboration with Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Çankaya Municipality and the Embassy of Sweden in Turkey, ‘Light the Dark’ lighting installation exhibition uses lighting designs to draw attention to different forms of violence against women. Curated by Ekin Kılınç and Fırat Engin, the exhibition will be open to visitors between 25 November – 10 December 2019 at Seğmenler Park in Çankaya, Ankara.

A modern art exhibition using light to address violence 

Spread throughout Seğmenler Park, the lighting installations will draw attention to different forms of violence against women including physical violence, economic violence, femicides, and domestic violence. 12 well-known artists will carve a path at Seğmenler Park with 10 different installations, waiting for their visitors. Constructed with materials like conventional light bulbs and neon, LED and spotlights, the exhibition blends harmoniously with the natural environment. Hosting the works of Aykut Öz, Ece Kibaroğlu, Ecem Dilan Köse, Efe Alpay, Ekin Kılıç, Emre Okçuer, Erhan Tunalı, Esra Koruç, Fırat Engin, Hazal Ünsal, Oğuz Akın and Zeynep Üçöz, the “Light the Dark” exhibition is the first open-air lighting installation exhibition to be displayed in public space in Turkey and will be open to visitors between 25 November – 10 December 2019 between 17:00 – 23:00.

We need to eradicate all forms of violence against women in Turkey”

In his speech, Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mansur Yavaş said: “We need to eradicate this problem in Turkey. As Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, we are ready to act on our responsibilities. Ankara Metropolitan Municipality will continue working diligently to create a comprehensive combat mechanism against violence against women.”

Ambassador of Sweden Annika Molin Hellgren said: “Violence against women is one of the most common results of gender inequality and is a human rights violation. It is critical to raise awareness to end violence against women and girls. More importantly, we also should be supporting men and boys to be agents of change towards the same goal.” Drawing attention to the fact that violence against women is not a women’s issue but a social problem, Hellgren stressed “We need to establish a vision for zero tolerance against gender-based violence.”

“We will not allow violence in our cities and stand against violence”

Drawing attention to the violence women experience walking on the street, going to school, using public transport, UN Women Turkey Country Director Asya Varbanova said: “Violence is an obstacle before women’s right to access education, employment and participation in social life. Light the Dark campaign calls for creating safe cities where individuals are free from violence in both their public and private lives. We will not allow and stand against violence at home, at work, on the streets, in the parks and in our cities.” 

In his opening speech, Mayor of Çankaya Municipality Alper Taşdelen said: “To end violence against women, we need to attribute the necessary importance to gender equality. As Çankaya Municipality we are diligently working and continue to work in the future to end violence against women.”

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