The award-winning Kurdish artist and former political prisoner Zehra Dogan has painted another artwork depicting Leyla Güven on hunger strike, alongside her daughter Sabiha Temizkan. Dogan, who has been criminalized and punished for her artistic expression of the Turkish state’s war crimes, has consistently used art to refuse the silence imposed on the people in Turkey in their challenge of the government.
In a recent article for the UK newspaper The Independent, Dogan wrote: “After my experience in prison, I believe that the whole world needs to show even more support of prisoners in Turkey. Unlike the period when I was under arrest, politician Leyla Güven startd a wave of hunger strikes, which hundreds of people have continued for more than 100 days by taking limited amounts of sugar water to slow death. Their demands are completely legal and basic: for PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to be able to use his legally-protected right to see his lawyers. Many people are today on the brink of death, and as of 29 March, four people have died by hunger strike.