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In Turkey at the end of May 2013, the ‘lady in red’ — a woman who was sprayed directly in the face with teargas by a policeman as she stood in Gezi Park of Taksim Square — became the symbol of the dissidents. The Turkish press Today’s Zaman called her ‘decent-looking and brave’
This Turkish policeman seeks intent on maintaining full control of ‘the lady in red’. Is this last shot personal or what! The heroine was identified as Ceyda Sungur, a research assistant at Istanbul Technical University’s school of urban planning. Environmentalists and other activists were staging a peaceful protest against government plant to build a shopping center in the park. The Verge wrote:
Dressed in a red cotton dress and carrying a white tote bag, Sungur soon found herself nearly face-to-face with a policeman’s pepper spray canister. That’s precisely when Osman Orsal, a photographer for Reuters, captured what may be the defining image of this month’s unrest — Turkey’s small-scale equivalent of the tank at Tiananmen.
With her stance relaxed and face downturn, Sungur, through Orsal’s lens, is the epitome of passive resistance. As onlookers cover their faces and turn away, Sungur keeps her shoulders nearly squared to the officer, whose gas mask and crouched stance seem almost comically disproportionate to his target. With a barricade of shields framing the action with ominous uniformity, she stands alone and absorbs the spray.
On a note of irony, we see that Ceyda Sungur will attend R.E.D.S. Rome Ecological Design Symposium in late September 2013.
Consider the juxtaposition of this image of a Turkish policeman very aggressively dousing our lady in red with tear gas with photographer Koray Birand’s June 2011 cover of Harper’s Bazaar Turkey, featuring Nadia Serlldou. See entire editorial. Having been to Istanbul many times, I understand the push and pull of secularization and the growth of religious fundamentalism in the country.
Koray Birand is on AOC’s short list of photographers who understand and are able to capture the essence of female sensuality in images.
View Birand’s 48 editorials posted on AOC. Posted yesterday Koray Birand Snaps Britt Maren For Elle Russia September 2013. We share three favorites, with commentary from me. ~ Anne