DAMLA ŞAHİNBAŞ - COUCH GRASS

Couch grass is a plant that grows in any climate, even without water, and clings tightly to the soil even if it is roasted. But there are also couch grasses among people. They cling tightly to life and continue to exist in a variety of environments despite various challenges. Sometimes they reject stereotyping and rebel against the normative rules of society. They are kept separate but still cling to life.

While trying to get to know myself, with the help of my sociopolitical knowledge and experiences brought to life with my individual awareness, I realized my state of being a couch grass . As I met people I am not ashamed of to be with, I turned towards opening a space where I could freely realize myself. Over time, we have had many common experiences. We shared the most difficult moments, produced common slogans, shouted, tried to overcome the fears that were injected into us. As a result, we learned to strengthen, to resist, to be like couch grasses together.

In this series, my aim was photographing people in their personal spaces who were subject to psychological and/or physical violence on the street, within the family and in workplaces due to the binary gender system. So I was able to touch their existential reality by reaching their essence. Regardless, my admiration for their empowerment and their ability to sprout has focused me on this and prompted me to show the story of my "adopted family" as Goldin said when describing the people she photographed.

I understood that being a couch grass does not mean leaving the joy of life, but holding on to the land and life.