Kurdish Art and Culture Amidst the Weekend’s Politics

Kurdish Art and Culture Amidst the Weekend’s Politics Amidst the election mania that began late last week, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Art & Culture here in the U.S. hosted a reception to celebrate the opening of “My Kurdistan: Paintings of Kurdish Life”—an exhibit featuring Kurdish artists.

The well-attended event brought a diverse crowd of Washington, DC onlookers, as well as some of the artists, including Falah Shwan. March is an important month for the Kurdish people, mixed with joyous celebrations of Newroz and the remembrance of the Kurdish uprisings, and mournful commemorations of Anfal and the chemical attacks in Halabja. So it is appropriate that this art exhibit is running during this time. I encourage all who are in capital in March to visit the Foundry Gallery where it is showing.

In addition to the work of Falah Shwan, paintings from six others are on display: Raouf Hasan, Jamal Mushir, Hekmat Hndi, Sardar Kestai, Kurdo Hasan and Jawhar Mohamad. Their work ranges from being nuanced to powerful and emotionally evocative. I’m proud to have these artists represent contemporary Kurdish culture here in the U.S. It is a side of our life in the region that does not get much attention, but should.

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