Photographer Joan Alvado is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From his project ‘Kurdish Women: Inside, Outside‘. To see Joan’s stories click on any image.
The conquest of public space
In addition to the known struggle of the Kurdish people for greater autonomy, Kurdish society handles over the years an interesting alternative battle: the one hold by thousands of women in pursuit of a social change involving greater equality for women and a bigger conquest of public space.
This modernization of the role of women is not been easy in such a conservative and deeply religious society. The role of Islam, closed familiar environments, a high illiteracy and the consequent lack of job opportunities are some of the challenges still to be overcome by the new Kurdish feminism.
But there are also indicators to be optimistic: an increasing school enrollment, massive participation of women in political life, and a first generation of Kurdish women accessing modern professions.
This project raises a visual tour along the different realities of what it means being a Kurdish women in Turkey: the few remaining women of Yezidi ethnic in Viransehir; temporary workers in the cotton fields of Urfa; the first generation of children having full access to education in Batman; the activists of Mothers for Peace in Diyarbakir, or the case of Esmeray, a well-known Kurdish transgender in the city of Istanbul. Thus, this documentary work proposes a deep approach to topics like roots, religion, agriculture work, education, forced migration, political participation and the arrival to new kurdish women identities that modernize nowaday the concept of being woman and Kurdish in Turkey.
By Joan Alvado