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Yesterday, February 10, the United States urged Turkey to release art philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been imprisoned since 2017 without conviction, accused of orchestrating an attempted coup against the Turkish government.
On Friday, February 5, a Turkish court declined Kavala’s request for release, combining two cases against him after an appeals court overturned his acquittal in one instance.
“The specious charges against Kavala, his ongoing detention, and the continuing delays in the conclusion of his trial, including through the merger of cases against him, undermine respect for the rule of law and democracy,” the Department of State announcement read. “We urge Turkey to abide by the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings and ensure a just, transparent, and speedy resolution to the case in line with its domestic laws and international obligations.”
Kavala is the founder of Anadolu Kültür, an Istanbul-based nonprofit art center. He has come under fire for various controversial positions in Turkey, including his support of cultural ties with Armenia. Turkey has had a blockade against the small republic since the 1990s and continues to deny the Armenian Genocide. Kavala and his organization have also spearheaded cultural projects that center marginalized groups in Turkey, including Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, and Yazidis. In 2002, Anadolu Kültür founded the Diyarbakır Arts Center as its arm in its eponymous, predominately Kurdish city.
As he entered his second year of solitary confinement, he was at the center of a March 2019 crackdown against prominent cultural workers in Turkey who were indicted for allegedly organizing the anti-government Gezi Park protests in 2013. Since 2017, several international officials and organizations have urged his release; in December of 2019, the European Court of Human Rights demanded his freedom due to lack of “facts, information, or evidence” regarding any alleged offenses.
Last July, to recognize the philanthropist’s 1000th day in detention, an international community of activists called attention to Kavala’s dubious imprisonment through a “Free Osman Kavala” campaign. Amnesty International USA, Freedom House, PEN America, and the Project on Middle East Democracy co-signed a letter to the US Department of State urging it to publicly demand the “immediate and unconditional release of Kavala and all prisoners of conscience in Turkey.”
“Kavala’s case is emblematic of the thousands of people arbitrarily detained in Turkish prisons in the context of politically motivated prosecutions, simply for exercising their rights to peaceful opposition and freedom of expression,” the letter said.
The State Department also noted concern for Henri Barkey, who in 2016 was accused of plotting a coup in Turkey, saying, “We believe the charges against Dr. Barkey to be baseless, and we call on Turkey to resolve his case in a just, transparent, and rapid manner.”
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…