الرئيسية » English Articles » Documenting the Kurdish Genocide – the Anfal (1988)

Documenting the Kurdish Genocide – the Anfal (1988)

My drawings are mutations of
shocking impressions derived from
disturbing memories. These memories
are no longer confined to my
unconscious, but have become a part
of my daily life.

You are kindly invited to attend the forthcoming KSSO seminar at SOAS:

Documenting the Kurdish Genocide – the Anfal (1988)

Speaker: Mr. Osman Ahmed, PhD Researcher, University of the Arts London
Date: 29th January 09

Time: 19:00 – 21:00

Location: G50, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies)
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

For further information
www.ksso.org.uk
mc@ksso.org.uk
Janroj 0787 5149068
Nawzad 07967823538


Documenting the Kurdish Genocide – the Anfal (1988)

This research investigates and records through drawing, collective memories of the Kurdish victims/survivors of the Anfal. This is the first systematic ‘visual documentation’ of the Anfal through direct encounter with the victims and their testimonies, and attempts to answer a basic question:
Can genocide be documented through drawing to convey the collective horror and despair? In other words: can drawing be used to preserve memory of the genocide? And how far should we go beyond the realistic (drawing-related) visual formats in order to draw the inner world of the traumatized victims of genocide?





Kurdish mass graves in south of Iraq

These events as well as my personal circumstances and other accounts have given me a continual source of often uncomfortable imagery but nevertheless a powerful reason for working. Ever since this experience, I have been traumatised by the events and my artworks have been totally dominated by this subject matter.

The work of contemporary Kurdish artist Osman Ahmed looks back on the experiences of the Kurdish people during the Anfal repression by Saddam Hussein’s forces from 1986 to1989. Forced to flee from Iraq, Ahmed journeyed to Iran where he was imprisoned, and later to Syria, Russia and the UK. His displacement reflects the plight of the Kurdish people shown in his drawings, where crowds of people migrate endlessly through a deserted landscape towards an unknown destination.

Individual stories are evoked in a collection of bright, intense acrylic works, and the
exhibition also includes a series of dark, abstract drawings from the artist’s experience in prison. This exhibition, displayed in the John Singer Sargent Room with the First World War painting Gassed, pays contemporary tribute to the endurance of civilians in the face of chemical attack, forced migration, mass killing and deep suffering.

Osman Ahmed studied at Sulaymaniyah College of Art and later at Camberwell College of Arts in London. His current doctoral research investigates artists’ responses to crimes against humanity and the role of drawing in documenting the Anfal genocide against the Kurds. At Wimbledon College of Arts in London.

For further information about Kurdish artist www.osmankader.com