A Novelist, columnist & playwright


(This article was published in http://archetypeinaction.org)

In its broadest sense, art is the execution of the artist’s expression of his or her existence, and this implies that any RISK that a work of art contains is rooted in the artist’s existence.

In societies where the social organism is not receptive to change, and even in those more receptive to change, any work of art involving alternative religious, economic and ideological points of view can be problematic. But as long as it does not threaten the patriarchy, the work of art is allowed some leeway and is regarded as the natural outcome of freedom of expression. It can be appreciated, it can be judged literary or worthy. However, depending on the type of society to which the artist belongs, it can also be totally neglected or even banned.

If there are multiple discrepancies between the artist’s own existence and their search for a sexual identity,

and if the artist’s existence within society is expressed in the work of art in such a way that it threatens the patriarchy, then the work of art may involve RISK.

What is more, if the audience perceives the RISK inherent in the work, then it becomes TRULY RISKY.

RISK occurs when art starts to question the state, the country, the social organism and the household structure, all of which are the representations of the several-thousand-years-old patriarchy. When an audience perceives the fears and traumas imposed on women and men by religions and ideologies, the RISK in a work of art is heightened.

If the work of art makes its audience realise ‘why’ and ‘for whose sake’ women and men had to give up the naturalness of their bodies, then the RISK becomes TRULY RISKY. What has to be understood is that when a work of art that is implicitly RISKY has been truly perceived, the resulting awareness cannot be annihilated by any means of prohibition, censorship or by neglect.

A work of art cannot reach the desired level of perception solely on account of its content. Whatever is seen or heard on stage or the movie screen, whatever is exposed on canvas or in a sculpture, whatever is heard in music or read in a book animates the conscious mind. In order to truly perceive the meaning of a work of art, this animation of the conscious mind should be integrated with the subconscious of women and men. Unless what is seen, heard or read strikes a chord within the body, the work of art can be recognised but it will not be truly perceived, nor will it constitute any RISK.

In writing my novels concerning women and men’s existence, I have fully intended to disturb and provoke the reader. Without being overly pedantic about it, I have wanted the reader to become aware of their feminine or masculine substructures. Due to my readers’ responses and the dialogues I’ve shared with them, I have realised that my novels are RISKY as a result of my feminine existence, and it is this that has resonated with my readers’ feminine and masculine existences.

When the Turkish state became alerted to this RISK, my fourth novel “Stop Hurting My Flesh”, whose themes included incest, was banned in 2004. The grounds for this ban were: “Destroying the Turkish family order, offending the Namus (virtue, chastity, honour) of the society, arousing sexual desire in the readers and disturbing the order of society by inducing fear within women, by using a feminist approach.”

Issues like incest or the sexual abuse of children are not limited to Turkey. In all of the developing or more developed societies, as a result of women not being real women and men not being real men, both girls and boys are subjected to sexual harassment and rape from within and outside their family. This known fact is swept under the carpet by all societies. Economically developed countries do not take this on. Instead, they try to conceal the fact that the ‘sexual freedom’ to which they lay claim, is artificial and phoney. If their claims to sexual freedom were justified, logic infers that there would not be child slaves imported into their countries for prostitution. If their claims were justified, European men would not be filling airplanes to Bangkok, the Far East or Africa in order to prove their manhood on little girls and boys. If their claims were justified, child pornography would not be such a widespread phenomenon on the internet.

The prevalence of incest in Turkey, and worldwide, has been stated in hundreds of books and articles written by many psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists. However, these works by psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists have not been banned in Turkey or anywhere else in the world. The reason for this is that these scientific facts are not considered RISKY unless they actually engage with the existences of women and men. For example, all medical literature acknowledges the fact that men are actually women who have undergone mutation. But when this same information is exposed in a work of art, and can be perceived, it results in an adverse reaction. Therefore, the power of art lies in its ability to make the target audience perceive the exposed RISK.

To sum up, if female and male artists are able to create works of art originating from their own existences, then those works of art define what RISK is and what is RISKY.