By Heidi Trautmann
The closest I could get to a simple interpretation for
democracy on internet is….
the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by
the people themselves…
idea of Democracy is at the moment being created in the Old City of Nicosia in
the SOL Atelier. Recently I went to see her and her work there. It is a most convenient place for the
sculpting work, it has the space to accommodate the construction with the
scaffold around and to deposit the parts done; and it offers all facilities for
her to work here, even through the nights, and there is water and electricity.
It was in May of this year that the Municipality of Lefkoşa
entrusted her with the task to complete a statue for Democracy, according to
the model she had presented. Zehra Şonya
was born in 1972 in Limassol and she studied sculpture at the Faculty of Fine
Arts at the Hacettepe University in Ankara. I have led an interview with her in
2006 which was published in Cyprus Today and is also included in my book ‘Art
and Creativity in North Cyprus, Volume I’. Since that time I have been
following her in her many activities as sculptor, as President of EMAA
(European Mediterranean Art Association), as coordinator, creator of many art
activities and international workshops and exhibitions, and finally as
archivist in the project Visual Arts Archive of EMU, Eastern Mediterranean
University and as teacher at the same university. She is a hard worker and we
all admire her energy to carry her projects through with great care and always with
good humour; for many artists, especially the young ones, she is a role model.
Now, on top of all her work in the many diverse fields, she spends her nights
working on the statue; she has six months, already two are spent and she hopes
to finish it within the time limit.
At the moment she works on the second half of the statue,
i.e. she applies clay onto the infrastructure of wood and metal. The first half
is waiting, laid out in individual pieces of cement on the floor of the atelier
for further processing.
What gave her the idea to give ‘democracy’ a human form cut
in half, I was asking her. “Democracy can never be an entity, just as man and
woman can never be a complete entity, they will always be two halves, equal
halves, halves with equal rights to democracy.”
And Society, are the two halves representing society? There
is a gap between the two halves, what is the meaning of the gap in-between, I
“It means that whoever is standing in the midst of it,
whoever acts in the name of the two parts, has to be aware of the equality of these
two parts, whatever their background is, it means that both parts have to be
treated with respect and impartiality.”
Well said, I thought, and we certainly do need such a 4 m
high manifestation to be reminded of the basic values of democracy.
There will be some more months of hard work to finish the
statue. Some processes towards the finale Zehra cannot do all alone, she needs
the help of friends, and they will come, just as she has never hesitated to
come to the assistance of others when needed.
I wish her courage and the energy she will need to finish
this very demanding project.