As our feeds continue to see black and white selfies of amazing and inspiring woman on a daily basis it’s become apparent that the true message has been lost in translation.
The origin of the campaign is instead to raise awareness of the violence against Turkish women and the lenient sentences given to men after the fact.
The American University Turkish Cultural Club went to Instagram to explain the issue further on their stories (which is no longer visible). However, author and journalist Poorna Bell reposted it to her feed.
The post reads: “Turkish people wake up every day to see a black and white photo of a woman who has been murdered on their Instagram feed, on their newspapers, on their TV screens.”
“The black and white photo challenge started as a way for women to raise their voice. To stand in solidarity with the women we have lost. To show that one day, it could be their picture that is plastered across news outlets with a black and white filter on top.”
“I see many of my non-Turkish friends sharing black and white photos of themselves as a “challenge” but not knowing the reason or the origin of the challenge. So here is my attempt to educate the little following I have… Turkey is one of the top countries when it comes to femicides [an intentional killing based on gender]. Just [in] 2019 we have had almost 500 RECORDED femicides. Sadly many remain unrecorded and we have no real number as to how many women are murdered here every year. Just this week, we have had several women murdered.”
While some continue to post black and white selfies without fully understanding the campaigns origin, others have chosen to instead educate their followers by bringing the harsh reality of what is happening to Turkish women into the public eye.