Öngösterim Görseli

March 2024 – Literature, Culture & Art Program


  • Simone de Beauvoir, the Second Sex
  • Catherine McCormack, Women in the PictureWomenArt and the Power of Looking
  • David le Breton, Walking for Life: A Tranquil Way to Happiness
  • Adam Phillips, Attention Seeking


What should we read this month?

 The month of March heralds renewing, warm and peaceful days that herald spring. That beautiful month, also includes “International Women’s Day”. This being the case, it is impossible not to shape the list of books we will read based on women.


Has “woman” always been talked about throughout history?

The fact that women started to be talked about and highlighted in a male-dominated society actually happened very recently. Simone de Beauvoir’s work The Second Sex, published in 1949 and which has become a reference source for the world feminist movement, is one of the most important works in this field. Beauvoir’s experiences with her ex-lover Nelson are what inspired her book The Second Sex. The book also gives the author the distinction of being the first feminist writer.  Simone de Beauvoir, above all, highlights the identity of women with the philosophy of “One is not born a woman, one becomes a woman” in the book. De Beauvoir details the view of women as the “second gender” through the inequality between men and women. She addresses this in a broad framework, basing it on the issue of women’s freedom, which has always been a priority for her. Maybe The Second Sex is not one of those gripping books that we can read and finish in one sitting. However, it is a significant representation in literature of the inequality between men and women and the inherent imprisonment of women in their second place. That’s why everyone should have a “Second Sex” book in their library.


Today’s women are dethroning the myth of femininity;

They begin to concretely affirm their independence, but it is not easy for them to manage to fully experience their humanity.

Simone de Beauvoir



So, what about art? Have women always existed in art? How has the perception of a female artist been received in art history?

The cries of “women’s power” that rose thanks to Simone de Beauvoir, began in art history with Linda Nochlin’s “Why Are There No Great Female Artists?” in 1971. With this work she wrote with great courage, Nochlin becomes the voice of women and helps women start making their voices heard in every field. The masculinity of art and its history is an issue that was not on the agenda until the 1970s, that is, until Nochlin’s breakthrough. When we look at museum collections and art history books until this time, we can assume that almost no female artists have lived throughout history, or even if they have lived, they have not made any artistic contribution. At one point, thanks to Nochlin, who broke some taboos with a feminist breakthrough, more and more things are being written about women. Catherine McCormack’s book, Women in the PictureWomenArt and the Power of Looking, offers a perspective that allows us to look differently at many images that we have seen as aesthetic and beautiful throughout history, along with the identities of women. The book was written when McCormack was in quarantine during the pandemic and began to question many things at the same time. Here, the author focuses on art itself, examines it through pictures and tries to detail the female image, while also integrating popular culture into it. In the book, which is divided into sections based on women’s identities, it exemplifies women by dividing them into categories such as Venus, Mother, Virgin, and also evaluates them from the point of view we call “femme fatale”. While doing all this, she sees women as “an image to be looked at”.


The reason why I recommend this book invites the reader to look at women and art more innovatively and freely by stripping them of challenging and limiting archetypes, rather than making them watch women and art from a perspective of perfection that will be included in everyone’s taste. Even though women have started to be talked about today, I still think that there are many things left unsaid and missing on this subject.



walkedwaking quick warm breaths;

and gems looked on,

and wings rose without a sound.

Arthur Rimbaud, Illuminations


When you start walking, do you think about where you will end up? Is there always somewhere to go? Is the person who starts walking the same person when he/she arrives?


Walking is a journey into the mind, a necessary turning point in evaluating life. I think David le Breton’s Walking for Life: A Tranquil Way to Happiness is a book that everyone who sees life as a journey, good and bad, should read. David le Breton handles the issue of life from different perspectives in the book. Le Breton says that a long walk is at the same time adventure, physical accomplishment, and essentially a change of scenery. It confronts the reader with the bittersweet aspects of going on a spiritual discovery through the body, touching on the importance of walking, that is, not being inactive but being in the flow of life. In his book, le Breton also gives examples from many authors. I especially liked the relationship he established with Matsuo Bashō’s “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”, which I added to the reading list last month. Despite his illness and pain, Bashō kept on walking. Because he perceived walking as a journey, a part of life. The Japanese even gave a name to that living feeling of events and people constantly changing, not remaining the same and being in a state of metamorphosis: Mujō. In fact, it is emphasized here that change is necessary and that what needs to be understood is that what is experienced during the journey is constantly changing.


“Walking means restoring order to the chaos within us, even if it does not eliminate the source of tension, it changes one’s perspective on it.”

“It is terribly important that you know what concerns you and what does not.”

Gertrude Stein, “What is English Literature”


What is attention? Is it always clear what attracts our attention?? Does attention arise from curiosity?

“Attention seeking, among other things, is always a test of love and should be viewed as such,” says Adam Phillips. Phillips is a writer who touches lives with his pen and makes me question life in many ways in each of his works. Attention Seeking, based on a single concept by Phillips, underlines that the history of interest is actually linked to the identity we create for ourselves in life. The book deals with the fact that we are what we are interested in, but that this can change and be directed to different places; By examining attention through concepts such as shame, self and distraction, it draws us to the deepest corners of attention to which we have perhaps never directed our perspective before.

In the early parts of the book, Phillips talks about loss of attention and the need for attention. This part also connects to Freud’s dream analysis at one point. Because dreams show us what we focus our attention on, as a place where we store our subconscious needs and hunger for attention. The following sections build bridges between these emotions by hovering over the concepts of shame, interest, and indifference that I just mentioned. In the following part, Phillips feeds on the connection between attention and distraction; He streamlines the text with references from literature by including authors such as Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Samuel Johnson, and Laurence Sterne.


Attention Seeking which makes you wonder as you turn the pages and can be read and finished in one go, is a very eye-opening book for many people, especially today, who suffer from distraction and have problems with what to focus on.

I hope you will choose the books that suit you from this month’s reading list and enjoy reading them.


  • Birileri, Yüzünde Taşlar
  • Hande Mehan, Teoman, Soluklan Dudaklarımda
  • Florence + the Machine, The xx, Jamie xx, You’ve Got the Love


  • Ayşe Sicimoğlu Quartet will meet the audience at Zorlu PSM on March 8th with its wide and colorful repertoire.


  • Cuban singer Solanch de la Rosa, who has been living in Istanbul for 9 years and interprets Latin, pop and R&B genres in her own way, will be at Zorlu Touché on March 26th.


  • Daphnis and Khloe, described by Maurice Ravel as a “choreographed symphony”, was inspired by the story of the same name, which is estimated to have been written by the ancient Greek writer Longos in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The story is considered the first example of pastoral narrative and has been a source of inspiration for many names in the fields of painting, music and literature for centuries. The work, enriched with harmonies related to the impressionism movement, will be performed by the Tekfen Philharmonic under the direction of Conductor Aziz Shokhakimov and the Magma Philharmonic Choir under the direction of Masis Aram Gözbek. It will meet the audience at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Center on March 28th, will be narrated by Merve Dizdar.


  • Istanbul State Opera and Ballet’s II. Mehmet (Maometto II) Opera was written by Gioachino Rossini, one of the most important composers of the romantic period opera literature, and librettist Cesare della Valle. The opera, which will meet the audience at the AKM Türk Telekom Opera Hall on March 27th, takes its place in history as one of the most influential works about Turks.



  • İDOB Modern Dance Ensemble MDTistanbul’s, Winterreise (Winter Journey), a 24-piece poem series composed by Austrian composer Franz Schubert and written by German poet Wilhelm Müller, was brought to the stage with the interpretation of Modern Dance Ensemble İstanbul and baritone Kevork Tavityan. The work meets the audience at the Atatürk Cultural Center Theater Stage on March 5th and April 2nd.


  • The long-awaited Dune Part Two, directed by Denis Villeneuve, will be released in Turkey on March 1st. The cast of the film, composed by Hans Zimmer, includes actors such as Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Austin Butler.


  • The Holdovers, which was nominated for an Oscar in 5 categories, tells the story of teacher Paul, cook Mary and frivolous student Angus, who are forced to spend the New Year’s holiday between 1970 and 1971 together at a high school. The movie is released on March 8th.


  • The Peasants, set in rural Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, tells the story of Jagna, a peasant girl. Directed by DK & Hugh Welchman, the movie will be released on March 22nd.


  • Balina, a father-daughter’s brief encounter between life and death, will be at Zorlu PSM Turkcell Platinum Stage on and March 11th, 12th, 23rd and 24th.


  • The story of hope and not giving up, Kuşları Bile Vurdular, will be at Eylül Stage in Kadıköy on March 13th.


  • Istanbul State Theater play Bella Figura will be at AKM theater hall on March 22nd & 23rd.


  • Kim Bu Ben, is a story of Daphne and Adam, who grew up together in an orphanage and one day realize that their virtual identities have been stolen. The play will be at Moda Stage on March 6th, at ENKA Auditorium on March 19th, and at Fişekhane Istanbul on March 21st.


  • Hale Asaf-Yalnız Bir Ruh,, a play about the artistic life of Hale Asaf, one of the pioneering female painters of Turkish painting, starting in Istanbul and extending to Italy, Berlin and Paris, and which we will watch through the eyes of her life partner Antonio Aniente, will be on March 9th and 16th, meets the audience at Asmalı Stage.

Who is Hale Asaf?

Hale Asaf is one of the most important female artists of Turkish painting. She has produced unique works in her 33-year life. Asaf is also the niece of Mihri Müşfik Hanım, the first female artist who initiated contemporary painting studies in Turkey. In 1919, Asaf went to Rome with her family to her aunt, Mihri Müşfik Hanım and took her first painting lessons and learned Italian there. In 1920, she went to Paris, Montparnasse, and became a student of Namık İsmail, one of the Çallı Generation painters. Asaf also nourishes her art from the European cities she visits. Especially the paintings made by the artist in the last years of her stay in Paris are generally women-themed paintings.

Hale Asaf has had a difficult life. She copes with multiple health problems throughout her life. The mood imposed on Asaf by her illnesses, which worsened in the last years of her life, is also reflected in her works. There are even some child-themed paintings she painted during this period, and it can be argued that these are images of her own childhood.

Asaf had surgery in Paris at the end of 1931. Meanwhile, she met Italian writer Antonio Aniante and after a while they started living together.

After Hale Asaf’s death in 1938, most of her works remained in Aniente. Some of the paintings were lost during World War II, and it is known that the rest were sold to Turkish collectors. According to a research conducted at the beginning of the 21st century, the artist painted 21 portraits, of which only 10 have survived to the present day.


  • TATE collection is at Artİstanbul Feshane! The exhibition titled Dinamik Göz: Optik ve Kinetik Sanatın Ötesindewill be open until May 19th!


  • The exhibition Zamansız Meraklar , which focuses on how current technologies and digital culture shape the thinking and production styles of artists, can be seen at Istanbul Modern until August 11th.


  • The group exhibition titled KendiGölgesinde, centered around dualities such as presence and absence, memory and forgetting, emptiness and body, invites visitors to search for what is in the shadow by enacting mental games and to go on a journey in their own intellectual and emotional selves. The exhibition can be seen at Arter until April 7th.


  • Istanbul’s first Art Nouveau building, Casa Botter, hosts unique exhibitions after restoration. Solo Botter: Selma Gürbüz exhibition, the first of the “Botter Exhibitions” series, brings together Selma Gürbüz’s characteristic works from different periods and reveals the artist and her world. The exhibition can be seen at Casa Botter until April 14th.


  • The Great Women Artists, launched a few years ago by British art historian and curator Katy Hessel, who previously hosted the Dior Talks podcast, is a podcast channel where an important female artist is discussed with a new art-loving guest in each episode. Hessel, who discussed Barbara Kruger in her last episode, also talked about important female artists in art history such as Berthe Morisot and Yayoi Kusama in her previous episodes. This podcast channel also has an Instagram account with the same name. This month, when we will also celebrate Women’s Day, it has taken its place on the recommendation list as a podcast that you can listen to in English, which I think will attract the attention of art lovers.


  • More than a culture, art and literature podcast, Anlatsam Roman Olur discusses every field of culture. It is a Turkish podcast channel that talks about cultural issues by blending art and literature, and includes current news and literary interviews, and can be followed by anyone interested in this field.

Prepared by: Nazperi YILMAZ