• FORGOTTEN VICTIMS, Women in a Middle Eastern War: MFA Thesis - Printmaking

      Yontar, Arzu (2016-05)
      As a Muslim woman artist from Turkey, I am very sensitive to and aware of what is currently happening in the Middle East and I am especially concerned about the women and children living in that part of the world. It is because of the physical geographic link between Turkey and the Middle East, and my strong emotional connection, that I am interested in depicting, the lives of these Muslim women today, who attempt to survive in a war zone. These women have been dying or suffering every day over many years, and few people around the world know of their suffering or talk about these innocent victims subjected to the horrors of a modern war. Modern war uses conventional weapons that are able to cause indiscriminate destruction of entire blocks of houses in cities with precision and speed. This increase in the destructiveness of modern weapons has been tremendous since World War II. I have created an installation piece by combining evanescent materials such as paper, ink, soap, and wood to reflect on the lives of these women who are quickly disappearing from our mediated sight and whose memory evades our collective consciousness. The purpose of my thesis is to give these nameless Middle Eastern women a presence in our modern world, I want to make their lives known. I am using the relationship between scale, materials, and what they connote to create the emotional and physical connection between the women victims of the Middle Eastern wars and the viewer. The three parts of my thesis exhibition consist of Intaglio prints of landscapes from Middle Eastern war zones, Woodcut portraits of Middle Eastern women, and A clear acrylic oval pool as an installation with soap sculptures of Muslim women standing, each six inches tall.