By Tamjid Alkohali
On the 18th of February, 2014 at the Diplomatic Club, the Turkish Ambassador’s spouse, Gülhan Çorman, hosted an event for the ambassadors’ wives and some diplomatic women. They watched a series about art and infections presented by Pro. Ozay Akan, whom is a professor of medicine at Ankara University. Akan spoke about infection and art from his medical perspective and the relationship between them, especially in the past.
Akan displayed a few paintings through which they depicted the people’s suffering of infectious diseases, such as; plague or Black Death.
“In the middle of the fourteenth century, plague began in China then spread to Europe in the span of three years. It made Europeans at that time die in merely two days because of the lack of medical intelligence in that time. Nearly seventy five to one hundred million people died because of this disastrous infection.” Said by Akan.
She also explained the stages of the plague and the suffering of women, men, children and even the doctors whom would try to fight against the plague during that time. Through art depictions, as well as she mentioned the most important artists who embodied the disaster of the plague in paintings, also spoke about the symbols used by the artists in their paintings. For example: skulls, skeletal smiling, are meanings of death.
Akan said to NationalYemen that the art at that time was produced off of the feelings and expressions of the people. The spread of the infection in all of over the world, especially in Europe, affected badly on the society which led people to express their pain and sorrow through art.
She added that it is important to inform others of the importance of art in that the plague attacked and infected many people in the past including Arabs, but the world today only knows about the Europeans suffering because they left art memorabilia with their depictions of the plague.
Akan stated that she enjoyed showing this topic in a country such as Yemen. Her experience here has been nothing less than exciting and found Yemen to be very beautiful and welcoming, and would be more than gracious to be invited here again.
The Turkish Ambassador’s spouse, Gülhan Çorman, said to NationalYemen that it’s an stimulating topic to watch how people express their tragedy, feelings, and hope through art and they always aim to exchange the cultures, so she hopes to repeat this event but with different topics of course.
The event concluded with a few questions asked by the ambassadors’ wives about infection and art and they expressed their delight with the outcomes of this event.