DAMLA ŞAHİNBAŞ - WE ARE REA

‘WE ARE REA’ focuses on LGBTQIA+ and female subjects who are directly affected by Turkey's conservative structure. Religious and political ‘ethics’ mostly shaped by Turkey's geographical location, have always been decisive in the body politics carried out to this day. 
Physical and psychological violence, oppression in all areas of life, authorities ignoring their existence are the main reasons for the ‘non self-realization’ of these people. The traumas created by the authorities force these people to seek safer spaces and open up spaces where they can realize themselves.

In this series, the concept of deformation is used as a phenomenon of destruction and reconstruction. Due to the traumas caused by the strict body politics of conservatism in Turkey, the urge for destruction and reconstruction becomes determinative within the technique of the series. In order to hold onto one’s life after experiencing trauma, safely sustain one’s existence, and open space for oneself, it is inevitable to undergo destruction. Equally to microcosms (safe space) that individuals create while seeking freedom in their daily lives, the post-destruction random disorderliness in this project achieves its inner order. In this concept, the produced series both technically and narratively identifies with the urge for destruction and reconstruction.

‘WE ARE REA’ borrows its name from Robert Heinecken's experimental darkroom series ‘Are You Rea’ (1964-68), in which he criticizes the beauty standards imposed by the daily mass media. ‘WE ARE REA’ reinterprets the questions brought to the fore by Heinecken, taking into consideration the field of struggle that keeps changing, developing and being more inclusive up to day.