The Black and White Photo Challenge

Social media is a helpful tool to raise awareness about various social issues that happen all around the world. One such awareness campaign that is going all over the instagram is the Black and White photo challenge, where the person who is challenged has to put a black and white photo of them on the social media platform with the hash tags #blackandwhitephotochallenge and #challenge accepted. More than 53,00,000 people have participated in this challenge and posted their photos. Women, including the celebrities, are posting their pictures as a sign of women empowerment.

The challenge is said have began in Turkey where there was a sudden spike in gender based violence, along with nearly 474 murders of women in a society that has already normalized honor killings and domestic violence; not just at the hands of partners or husbands but also from the male members of the family.

In an article is was said that, ‘what is now a light hearted expression of female solidarity was originally, in Turkey, a campaign inspired by both the soaring rates of violence against women and the brutal murder of a 27 year old student named Pinar Gultekin. Turkish women wake up every day and see a black and white photo of women who has been murdered, either on their instagram feed or their newspapers or television. This challenge was thus started as a way for women to raise their voices and to stand in solidarity with the women we have lost.

The Turkish government has failed its women, so they need to take this matter in their own hands to create awareness. In 2011, the Istanbul convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was signed by a number of European countries however, the Turkish government is now backing out of this. Thus we need to back the power and use our voices or whatever small or big privilege we have and effectively use the challenge to raise our voices to create awareness about gender based violence.

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