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ArtRole UK to host new arts festival in Iraqi Kurdistan

  • Date: 9 October 2009
  • Area: North
Sam Muemin's 'Love' (2006)

Sam Muemin's 'Love' (2006).

Post-War Arts and Culture Festival
The Red Jail, Iraqi Kurdistan
7-9 November 2009

This year marks the debut of the Post-War Arts and Culture Festival in Iraqi Kurdistan; a partnership between ArtRole UK and Khak Media and Press Center Iraqi Kurdistan.

British sculptor Richard Wilson is among artists participating in a three day celebration of art, culture and education taking place at the Red Jail, previously Saddam Hussein's security building, in the city of Sulaymaniyah. While introducing and exhibiting work by established British, Iraqi and US artists, the event also offers a supportive platform for young emerging and female artists from Iraq. This free arts festival is the first of its kind in post-war Iraqi Kurdistan to bring together people from such a range of social, political, and cultural contexts: academics, politicians, directors of universities, colleges and art institutions, local and international officials, as well as practicing artists and curators.

ArtRole, funded and supported by the British Council and Arts Council England, was formed by Adalet R. Garmiany in July 2004 and aims to provide a cultural exchange between the Middle East and UK. Early last year, five Kurdish artists were invited to Yorkshire to introduce their culture and talk about their lives, backgrounds and art practice through research visits, talks, performances and workshops.

ArtRole also maintains a strong presence in Yorkshire through a formal, long-term partnership with Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In 2007 ArtRole arranged for six important international artists to visit the Kurdistan-Iraq region and this year, Yorkshire Sculpture Park presented a rare opportunity to hear the artists share their experiences.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park continues to work with ArtRole to broaden the awareness of modern Middle-Eastern culture, away from the dominant reporting of conflict and deprivation, and will host an artist in residence from the region in Autumn 2009, as well as participatory talks and events. For more information visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park

For more information on the festival visit ArtRole