Turkey’s first female war photographer to be commemorated

Turkey’s first female war photographer to be commemorated

Turkey’s first female war photographer to be commemorated Organized in memory of Turkey’s first female travel and war photographer Semiha Es, world renowned women photographers will come together during an international symposium in Istanbul.

“Semiha Es - The Women Photographers International Symposium,” will take place in Istanbul between Nov. 28 and 30. The event will be organized in cooperation with the Women’s Museum Istanbul, the Gender and Women’s Studies Forum at Sabancı University, and Koç University’s Center for Gender Studies (KOÇ-KAM).

Simultaneous with the symposium, a photography exhibition will also be opened, titled “Second Eye: Women Photographers from Turkey.”

The symposium is part of the “Women’s Cultural Heritage” program of the Women’s Museum Istanbul. During the event, Es, who lived between 1912 and 2012 and is known for her coverage of the Korean War as a photojournalist, will be commemorated.


Es will be commemorated during a symposium and
photography exhibition, organized in cooperation with
the Women’s Museum Istanbul, Sabancı University and
Koç University.

The symposium will start with the screening of a documentary entitled “Semiha Es” in the Cezayir Meeting Hall. It will host panels and round-table discussions focusing on women photographers’ place in, as well as their contribution to, the world of photography in the 21st century. Participants will also presents their work as well as share their thoughts on related topics, such as the question of war and the photographic gaze from a gender perspective, the female body, violence, memory, documentary and art photography.

Fourteen leading women photographers from around the world will participate. On the international front, the photographers Ami Vitale, Yunghi Kim, Diana Blok, Vera Lentz, Heidi Levine, Mitsu Maeda, Shadi Ghadrian, Lucia Nimcova, Lucy Azubuike, Tzeli Hadjidimitriu, Eman Mohammed Darkhalil, Fatou Kande Songhar, Lynsey Addario, Nomusa Makhubu, the documentary photography editor and strategist Ayperi Karabuda Ecer and Fiona Rogers from Magnum-Firecracker will discuss and explore the contributions of women to the world of photography.

The symposium participants from Turkey include Ahu Antmen, Laleper Aytek, Silva Bingaz, Melisa Önel, Sebla Selin Ok, Bikem Ekberzade, Serra Akcan, Gülşin Ketenci, Şenay Öztürk, Şehlem Sebik, as well as some promising young women photographers such as Begüm Koçum, Cemre Yeşil, Dilara Arısoy, Pınar Gediközer, Larissa Araz, Zeynep Kayan, Senem Sinem, Gözde Türkkan. The panels will be moderated by Feride Çiçekoğlu, Gamze Toksoy, Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, Asena Günal and Ayşe Gül Altınay.


Semiha Es poses with her husband, late journalist
Feridun Es .

Photography exhibition

A photography exhibition will also open parallel to the symposium on Nov. 29 at Sismanoglio Megaro, the exhibition venue of the Greek Consulate. This exhibition will also be a tribute to Es.

“Second Eye: Women Photographers from Turkey,” will host not only works by Es belonging to different periods and shot in different countries, but also the intellectual and artistic accomplishments of 25 Turkish women photographers who since 1980s have produced a significant body of work contributing to the subjective approach of photographic expression.

At the opening of the exhibition, jazz pianist and composer Ayşe Tütüncü will debut a piece inspired by four photographers featured in the Istanbul Women’s Museum’s permanent exhibition: Naciye Hanım (1881-1970), the first professional Muslim woman photographer; Maryam Şahinyan (1911-1996), the first professional Armenian woman photographer in Turkey; Eleni Küreman (1921-2001), the first professional woman photojournalist for the Turkish press and also the first professional Greek woman photographer in Turkey.

The exhibitions, curated by Antmen and Aytek, can be viewed until Jan. 5, 2014. The exhibition will be followed by two books featuring the works of the photographers whose works were displayed in the exhibition.