CLOSE TO HOME - Stories of Women in Wilson
This photo story by Cigdem Ucuncu and Serra Akcan was realized during the Eyes On Main Street Artists Residency Programme in January 2019.

The separation of East and West, a certain neglection of the East and the prosperity of the West - a very common story, especially for two women who live in a city that is located on two different continents. Wilson's railroad, its empty streets, the houses with the blinds down, the closed and very few open stores and the places of worship are divided in East and West. There seems to be no distinction from the outside, but once you enter, you can spot the difference. A common story for two women who live in a country that has always been struggling with its diverse identities.
Although Wilson seems to be very different from where we live, we could witness that the struggles of people in this small town don't seem to be too far from our own struggles in a country like Turkey. Along with the locals of Wilson, residents with different cultural backgrounds from Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe live in separate communities in this small part of North Carolina.
Once the doors opened up for us, it has been women who let us in. We talked a great deal, we could've talked forever. Our differences became common grounds. We saw similarities in our struggles, we have fought the same fights and we have had the same dreams. Some of them tell stories about war in their homelands, some of them speak of poverty, discrimination and the longing for a place to belong to. Locals and foreigners try to make the best of the limited possibilities in a town like this. They find peace and quiet in its solitude, and finally, they make Wilson their home.
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