As the Taksim Square demonstrations escalated into police riots, Turkish television ignored the major event and instead broadcast a documentary on penguins. The penguin became a symbol of the gutlessness of Turkish media.
Turkish-American artist Mirgun Akyavas has been photographing street art and graffiti, from Calcutta to Cleveland, for the past three decades. Last month she went home to Istanbul to participate in a retrospective of her father Erol’s art at the Istanbul Modern museum. When the Taksim Square demonstrations and police riots erupted, Akyavas was there. In these photos, she shows us some of the residue of resistance.
Civil unrest often finds its expression on the walls of the city, particularly when the media is as suppressed as that of Turkey’s. Graffiti and street art become the headlines, not found on newsprint but on cement and brick. A can of Krylon and a stencil become the medium of the people, often coarse, frequently funny and generally angry.
Akyavas took these photos exclusively for Dangerous Minds. She’s become our resident photo-journalist. She’s also my wife.
“The people’s gas.”
“Erdogan The Joker.”
“Love is an organized group.”
The calm between the storms.
“Tayyip get lost.”
“Let the people eat pepper gas.” Tayyip Antoinette.
“Instead of having 3 children, plant 3 trees.”
“Sex, drugs and revolution.”
“We are proud of our revolutionary lawyers.” Honoring the lawyers that have been representing arrested protesters for free.
All photographs by Mirgun Akyavas. Feel free to share them but please credit the photographer and Dangerous Minds.