Around 20 artists will gather during the 2nd “Kurdish Art Fair” which will take place on December 8 in London, to promote Kurdish art, and support Zehra Doğan, Kurdish artist in prison in Turkey.
Please find hereafter some words from the people involved in this adventure since 2016, presenting this initiative.
The Kurdish Art Fair is an exciting event that showcases some of the finest works of art from Kurdish painters, photographers, sculptors, and illustrators. In a broader sense, it celebrates artists whose work truly reflects Kurdish culture and identity.
Due to oppression, hostility, and war in the Middle East, Kurds have been constantly displaced and forced to migrate. This has restricted Kurdish creativity, preventing the Kurdish people from exhibiting their own culture and identity through art. Through the Kurdish Art Fair, we hope to provide a platform for Kurdish artists to put forward and promote their work.
We believe that these gatherings will help us reunite Kurds across the world, and will open up opportunities for healing and support by sharing our injustices through art. By bringing artists and art fans together, we will be able to discover each other and document our works. In addition, we can speak about our reality which we believe deserves a voice within the chamber of international public opinion.
The Kurdish Art Fair is a non-profit organisation founded in 2016 by two friends, Sevcan Yüksel Henshall and Yüksel Adıgüzel, which sees artists donate at least 40% of the profits from their artwork to selected Kurdish charities. Our first event was a huge success, raising £1470.90 for Family Support Campaign (Kardeş Aile) which provides financial support to poor, sick, and war-stricken families who are in need of assistance in Northern Kurdistan.
We will be holding a second fair on Saturday 8th December 2018 in Stoke Newington Library Gallery. This event is dedicated to the captive Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan. The artist was sentenced to 2 years 9 months in prison by the Turkish government on 24 March 2017 for simply painting a picture of the city of Nusaybin, which was heavily damaged by the state security forces. She was also sentenced for sharing a message from a 10-year-old girl living in Nusaybin written in the period of the attack. She continues to paint and resist her captors despite all the restrictions and prohibitions in the detention centre. The fair will exhibit her art work from prison, which has been created using colours she obtained from cooking materials and waste. These unique works of courage, defiance, and creativity will be on sale for the first time at the Kurdish Art Fair.
Using Zehra’s testimony, the reality and history depicted in her paintings, and the work of other artists, we hope to drive awareness of the oppression and false imprisonment that so many like Zehra Doğan have suffered. Countless human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and intellectuals want to be heard, and our event aims to make their voices louder and impossible to ignore. Additionally, the income from this year’s art sale will be donated to Zehra’s art workshop project for children.
Some of the artists who will exhibit their work at the Kurdish Art Fair 2018 are: Zehra Doğan, Sevcan Yüksel Henshall, Yüksel Adıgüzel, İlyas Kırkan, Shorsh Saleh, Janet Biehl, Jasım Ghafur, Kae Bahar, Mattına Hiwaizi, Sazgar Abdalkarım Abdalrahman, Soniya Ahmed, Yeter Aydemir, Sevgi Kaymak, Erem Kansoy, Dilan Ulusoy, A. Ender Cemgil, Kale Doğan et Raman Aso.