440 Pairs Of Womens Shoes Hung On Istanbul Wall To Highlight Turkeys Domestic Violence Problem

Shoes displayed on wall represent number of women killed by husbands in TurkeyPA Images

An art installation in Istanbul uses 440 pairs of womens shoes to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence in Turkey.

In some parts of Turkey, when someone passes away its customary to leave their shoes on the wall outside their home.

Artist Vahit Tuna took this practice and expanded upon it. Each pair of shoes in his installation represents a woman who was killed by her husband in Turkey last year.

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#Repost @feminist • • • • • 440 pairs of women's shoes were hung on one of the city walls in Istanbul this week to draw attention to male domestic violence in the country. This is the number of women murdered by their husbands in Turkey in 2019. 📷 @hypemuslim

A post shared by Vahit Tuna Art Works (@vahittuna) on

Tuna opted to fix the shoes to the wall rather than displaying his work inside in an effort to catch the attention of passersby as well as art enthusiasts. The telling artwork aims to highlight the sheer number of domestic violence victims in the country.

The shoes are displayed on two art installation walls which are part of Yanköşe, a not-for-profit art platform in Istanbuls Kabataş neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district.

The Yanköşe website explains its walls open a space for expression to artists who produce unexpected, experimental, contemporary art (translated).

440 pairs of women's shoes were hung on one of the city walls in #Istanbul. This is the number of #women #murdered by their husbands in #Turkey during the year. pic.twitter.com/timqWeYnph

— Javid Nabiyev (@nabiyevcavid) September 18, 2019

According to Hurriyet Daily News, Tuna spoke about the Yanköşe project and his installation to local media.

He said:

Here is Yanköşe project. One artist each year uses these two walls to exhibit their art works. And this time, I wanted to exhibit a work here.

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… raises awareness regarding women murders and also materialises this issue like a sculpture or monument.

Shoes displayed on wall represent number of women killed by husbands in TurkeyPA Images

The artist added the shoes would remain on the walls for six months. He reportedly chose black high heels to represent independence and defiance.

The number of women killed by their husbands in 2018 comes from the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, which tallies up domestic violence fatalities each year.

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