the girl with the pig tattoo
25 October 2016

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I remember the first photograph I took of her, sitting on a bench during one of our walks through the city. It was a photograph of her tattoo, a bloated pink pig on the right side of her neck. ‘I really love Pink Floyd.’ she responded when I asked about it. At the time I didn’t even connect the dots between having a pig tattoo in your neck and living in an islamic culture, I just thought it was cool. I didn’t connect the dots because for some reason I had never really thought of Turkey as an islamic country.

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There she was, Doğa. Her face on the screen of my laptop, her voice through the speakers. It was nice to talk to her, even if it was through a computer. After talking for a while I wanted to send her a photograph to take a look at. ‘Hey check your Facebook real quick, I’ve sent you a photo.’ I said. She opened her browser and tried to open Facebook. It was blocked. I could see in her eyes that she knew this meant something bad. ‘Hold on, I need to check the news.’ was quickly followed by ‘Shit, there’s been another bomb.’

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I’d seen her laugh about her country, cry about it, be scared of it, hate it, love it, miss it and wanting to escape it. These moments, the moments where pure raw emotion takes over the body and forces it to into submission made me aware of her struggle.

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