Visual Violence in the Images Aiming at Creating Awareness on Violence Against Women in Turkey Violence against women in all forms, including domestic violence, murder and sexual abuse, is a major public problem in Turkey. The images of physically assaulted women are widely circulated. Even the campaigns aiming at preventing and combating violence against women as well as photographs for bringing attention to violence against women as a social problem often reproduce the image of a woman suffering from violence. Utilisation of exaggerated makeup to create traces of violence on womens’ faces, presentation of melodramatic poses of suffering women or overuse of close-up or medium close-up shots with a plain background have become a common practice for the visual presentation of violence against women. This study aims at analyzing the representation of women in these social campaign photographs in recent years in Turkey by problematising whither these photographs serve as an effective strategy for responding to violence against women. The analysis offered concludes that this kind of visual representation reproduces the sexist myths and reduce violence to a mise-en-scene. It will also be argued that the representation of women as “victims” can deepen their fears; these photographs can turn into a material that violent men use to threat their partners and can promote considering violence against women only as phyisical violence.
Violence against women, feminist critique of visual culture, photography, image, awarenessraising activities