What Will They Say, Meltem?
About literature, poetry, feminism and violence - with Müesser Yeniay, Çiler İlhan, Sanem Kalfa, Meltem Halaceli & Canan Marasligil (moderator)
In What Will They Say, Meltem?, Meltem Halaceli, Müesser Yeniay and Çiler İlhan discussed what role literature and poetry can play in bringing to light violence against women. This event was the live finale of a series of podcasts with the same title by Winternachten programmer Meltem Halaceli. Domestic violence against women and LGBT-groups has increased worldwide and femicide has become a growing problem. Struck by this reality, Meltem Halaceli went in search of her family's feminist values and made a podcast about them. Her mother's eyes were opened by novels and poetry by Turkish, Russian and American authors who wrote about the unequal status of women. In her podcast, Meltem spoke to writers, poets and experts and asked them how they use their knowledge and literature to bring violence against women into the open.
In this live event we first of all met Turkish poet Müesser Yeniay, who recited a number of new poems. In the introduction to her latest collection Sevgiliyle Daimi Konuşma (Endless Conversation with the Loved One) she wrote: "For many Eastern women, poetry is the only place she exists." What does that mean for her poetry? The second guest was Çiler İlhan, who moved to the Netherlands from Turkey in 2017. She spoke about her latest novel Nişan Evi (Engagement House), in which women are seen as commercial objects - a body and nothing more. Her earlier book Sürgün (Exiled) won the EU Literature Prize and was translated into 20 languages. Jazz singer Sanem Kalfa framed the conversation with live music. Canan Marasligil, a translator and writer, moderated the event.
We concluded this program with a screening of the Writers' Monument. Like every year, The Theatre of Wrong Decisions has made made an updated version of their 'digital monument' for the journalists and writers who were murdered. The monument could be seen during the opening of Winternachten, to stand still together, reflect and realize how many people worldwide sacrifice their lives simply by holding the pen and wanting to tell the truth.