2019, Single Channel Video, 21 minutes 20 seconds, Color, No Sound
Archival Pigment Prints, 24x24"
In Turkey, male citizens at the age of 18 become obligated to serve in the military and Turkey is one of the countries that does not offer the option to its citizens for a conscientious objection. On August 3, 2018, the Turkish Government ratified a law that enables Turkish citizens to reduce the term of their regular military service by paying a certain amount of money. The law enables young Turkish men to complete their military service in 21 days instead of 6 or 12 months and pay an amount of money to the government through bank accounts. According to the law, applicant citizens born on or before January 1, 1994 were required to complete their applications in three months between August and November 2018. The candidates will complete their 21 days of military service within the period of time that the Ministry of National Defense designates. In 3 months, 633,844 male citizens applied.
Through photography and video 21 Days aims to visually point out the 21 days that I will be serving in the military - an experience that is creating a transformation and a sense of temporal detachments: detachment from social life, detachment from identity, and detachment from self-appearance. Paying for a right to benefit from a shorter time of service is an option for the privileged, however, where does the privilege start? How and why are we driven toward using that privilege?