What is the message of the painting by Javed Mulani?

8 March 2019

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

Today is March 8th, International Women’s Day… On this important day, we need to talk about the struggle of all people who defend not only women’s rights, but human rights as a whole, with a strong stand against inequality. I truly wish the 8thof March were a day celebrated all around the world with a ripple of joy. Nevertheless, I believe it is an important development that recently the world has been keeping the topics of equal opportunity and gender equality on the agenda. Believing that my hopes will raise even more in time, I sincerely celebrate all women’s International Women’s Day.

One of the reasons for being hopeful is the initiatives I’ve seen especially on the social media. For instance, “The future is female” has become one of the most popular mottos lately. This motto often appears in the social media, and fashion and music industries. Some criticize the motto for allegedly being against equality. However, the injustice faced by women almost throughout the world shows that equal opportunity must be strongly supported.

Today, women are obliged to assume very important roles and responsibilities simultaneously in both social and business life. In addition, they need to deal with social obstacles, judgments and taboos, and this not fair at all. Equality, firstly, is a natural right. That’s why I insist on improving diversity and equal opportunity in our company since the first day I started working at Siemens Turkey. At this point, I would like to tell you the story of Javed Mulani’s “Diversity” painting at our Gebze campus.

It is said that, one day in 1961, poet Nazım Hikmet and artist Abidin Dino watch the River Seine in Paris through the window of their hotel room while performing their arts. Nazım Hikmet then takes a look at the painting Abidin Dino is working on and in admiration of his art, Nazım writes the lines: “Could you paint the picture of happiness, Abidin? / But without taking the easy way out…”

I first met Mulani during my years as Siemens India CFO in the 2000s. After I started working at Siemens Turkey, I invited him to Istanbul and, inspired by Nazım Hikmet’s question to Abidin Dino, I asked him if he could “paint the picture of diversity” for us.

Thus, he created this painting that glorifies “the diversity” with each color, each contour, each detail. Whenever I look at this painting, I am impressed by the main figure with ten hands and a different responsibility in each of them. Such power, such resilience, such determination! Mulani once said “I personally see women as the central force of today and the future,” while talking about this figure. I totally agree with him. I think we need women’s problem-solving ability, strength and determination especially in the business world. There are a lot of data supporting my opinion, but I will write about them in another blog post.

Let’s go back to “The future is female” motto. Yes, we have lived in a male-dominant system so far and the result is not much of a relief globally. Isn’t it time to co-build a future in which women and men have equal rights, not only legally, but also actually? Isn’t it time that women shape the future as freely as men do?

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Javed Mulani
    10 March 2019 at 10:45

    Thank you so much ????
    Wonderful way to contemplate art and social issue.

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