The first Art Symposium in Kurdistan/Sulaymaniyah June 2014


I told you before that I been invited to the first Art Symposium in Kurdistan/Sulaymaniyah. I felt worried about the situation in Iraq and wondered if it would be possible to go there. We arrived to Erbil, and cars fetched us for the three hours drive to Sulaymaniyah, but first a visit at the cultural ministery. It was safe in Kurdistan and we could enjoy the scenery outside the car, beautiful mountains – now more yellow than green. Love to go there at springtime. Artworkshop during daytime, television, interviews, journalists, exhibition, chatting during nights, presentation of all artists, kurdish music and food,small walks in the old bazar morning time and a trip to Halabja memorial monument. Thousands where killed 16/3 1988 when the Saddam regim used different types of gas in Halabja with the purpose to kill kurdish civilians. The guide was a young boy at that time and he told us that helicopters come from Iran (just 20 kilometers) to help and transport dead bodies, the guide was one of them. They prepared him for funeral, but noticed that he was not dead….and now he is working there at the Halabja memorial monument and museum and talks everyday about the trauma!

We visited an art exhibition where the Kurdish artist Osman Ahmed looks back on the experiences of the Kurdish people during the anfal repression by Saddam Husseins forces. His works springs from his own experiences and from the eyewitness stories of refugees he has encountered. We had very interesting talk with him, and his drawings reminds of Goya´s Disasters of war and explore human resilience in the face of inhumane treatment.

We had our exhibition at the same Place, National Museum, as Osman Ahmed. A lot of people, television, interviews, chatting, having fun and hot, hot, hot. Outside more than 40 degrees C and inside….. The National Muesum in Sulaymaniyah was a prison during the regim of Saddam Hussein. Thousands of men, women and children where prisoners there and treated very badly with torture!

Back to Erbil and the flight to Sweden. So many impressions, so many lovely and interesting artists and all time the history of Kurdistan and the kurdish people is present. Hope to get invited again!
















Published in: on juli 17, 2014 at 10:38 f m  Kommentera  

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