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Turkish artist breaks stereotypes

Reknowned artist and well-known leftist Kutlug Ataman surprises with his support for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party.
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Kutlug Ataman, born in 1961, is a Turkish filmmaker and contemporary artist who lives in Istanbul and London and whose movies and artwork have reached international audiences. He is one of the rare Turkish artists who have had the courage of openly declaring their homosexuality. Ataman's works reflect mostly the lives of marginalized individuals, examining the ways in which people create and rewrite their identities through self-expression, blurring the line between reality and fiction. His films have been described as combining documentary-style filmmaking with the intimacy of the home-movie genre. Politically, he identifies himself as a leftist.

Ataman’s art career took off at the 1997 Fifth Istanbul Biennial, where he presented his long-form documentary film about Turkish opera diva Semiha Berksoy, "kutluğ ataman's semiha b. unplugged." He was then invited to the 48th Venice Biennale, where he presented "Women Who Wear Wigs," which features four women — a revolutionary who is forced to hide her face, well-known journalist and breast-cancer survivor Nevval Sevindi, an anonymous deeply religious Muslim student and an activist transsexual sex worker.

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