I am half Turkish and half American and was born in Adana, Turkey though primarily raised between Adana, Mersin, and Istanbul. Being raised a devout and practicing Muslim I reflect on my presence within the religion as a woman and my present state of devoutness. My work explores my personal experiences and familial relationships through narratives that pull from familiar imagery within the Eastern Anatolian region. I attempt to explain and document the cultural complexities both within and outside the border of Turkey. Through analyzing my own identity and what it means to be a woman within a predominantly Islamic setting I hope to uncover elements that are often stigmatized within my surroundings. I search through created symbols to understand why my surrounding sisters take the precautions they do and to retrace generational coping habits.
My work attempts to pull apart the strands of my culture, society, and the confusions of my own identity and status within the United States to begin to understand my presence within my environment. By weaving through the stories of mothers, grandmothers, and my own histories, I attempt to decipher the historic residue that my environments hold in the present day.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Dilara Miller is an artist based between Mersin, Turkey and DeKalb, Illinois who received her BFA from The University of Colorado, Boulder. She is currently an MFA candidate at Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in Printmaking. Dilara has had her work apart of juried exhibitions such as Import/Export exhibition in Kent, Ohio and the Press Forward exhibition in Houston, Texas; as well as having been published in the MAPC Journal and The Hand Magazine. Dilara’s work critique’s and reflects on the social/cultural effects of being Turkish/American as well as being a Muslim woman in Turkish society. Her work uses her family’s history, the regional traditions, surrounding history, and religion to narrate these themes through created symbols.
© Dilara Miller