Amid Growing Repression, Turkey’s Women Graffiti Artists Shine

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For Yalcin, featuring women as a central theme represents female empowerment, she says, and “a symbol, for all the women, that they could do whatever they want. They can do their dreams, they can make it true.”

Painting Istanbul’s walls for the past six years, Yalcin – a classically trained artist – is a veteran of Istanbul’s fledgling graffiti world. She is also one of a growing number of women graffiti artists, a trend she is busy building on.

“I organize workshops, [which] women, girls are very much into, and they always come and attend to learn,” she said.

“I feel very lucky that as a female artist painting on the street wherever I go, that brings so much power and so much inspiration,” she adds. “Whatever you do on the street is a gift for everyone, so they [people] are really taking as a gift, and they feel connected.”

While graffiti in many parts of the world is generally seen as vandalism and a nuisance, here, for this genre of it, there is appreciation.

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