Life isn't a quiet river | Free Word

Video art by exiled journalist and artist Zehra Doğan. 

Life isn’t a quiet river is Kurdish exiled artist and journalist Zehra Doğan’s video art piece exploring the kindness of solidarity in times of political uncertainty. 

In 2016 Doğan became a political prisoner who was detained for a drawing. Her artwork depicting the destruction of the majority-Kurdish town of Nusaybin and her subsequent arrest went on to spark a world wide discussion on the importance of freedom of expression. 

The short film draws upon the power of writing and sees Doğan reflect on the compassion shown by supporters around the world who wrote letters to her during her 600 day imprisonment. It was filmed this summer in collaboration with many of Doğan’s exiled artist friends as they travelled across Europe. 

Featuring : Zehra Doğan & Rosida Koyuncu

Camera: Zehra Doğan, Rosida Koyuncu, Harun Arslan, Arthur Jaquet

Music: Bager Şen

Video editor: Naz Oke

This film was made possible with support from Free Word residents English PEN. This year they launched PENWrites: an international letter writing campaign in solidarity with writers in prison and at risk around the world. PENWrites encourages supporters to send letters to writers who have been unjustly persecuted, offering them much needed moral support. Sign up now to join the PENWrites campaign.

Artistic notes from Zehra Doğan can be accessed here: life isnt a quiet river – zehra dogan (en)