Exhibition celebrates Halabja’s Golden Days
Erbil (Kurdistan 24) – An exhibition later this week will celebrate the art and culture of the Kurdish city of Halabja. The exhibition is organised by the UK cultural charity Gulan and hosted by the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok.
'Halabja in the Golden Days' opens at the American University of Kurdistan, Duhok, with free entry to the public on 18th-19th and 21st-23rd October, 10am - 5pm. A series of related events includes an illustrated talk and performances of poetry and music:https://t.co/p02iCssoUO pic.twitter.com/6ZAdA2AOYX— GulanCharity (@GulanCharity) October 10, 2023
“The exhibition Halabja in the Golden Days celebrates Halabja as it was before Anfal, when it was renowned for its history and culture. Halabja was also famous for its parks, orchards and agricultural produce. The city produced many poets, the most famous being Abdullah Goran, the father of modern Kurdish poetry,” the Gulan charity said in a press release.
“Through this exhibition and related programme of events, we hope to show that there was much more to Halabja than just the terrible events of 1988. We want to celebrate the great diversity of culture that existed before Anfal and build support for a cultural renaissance in Halabja,” Richard Wilding, Gulan’s creative director, told Kurdistan 24.
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On March 16, 1988, Iraqi warplanes dropped chemical weapons on the civilian areas in the city of Halabja, killing around 5,000 people and injuring almost 10,000 others. The attack was part of Saddam Hussein’s genocidal Anfal campaign against the Kurdish people in the 1980s.
Gulan and its partners have interviewed residents of Halabja with the aim of creating a series of narratives that delve into the city's dynamic cultural scene, encompassing art, theater, music, and sports.
Furthermore, these narratives are enhanced by scholarly essays that provide insights into Halabja's poetry and traditional clothing, all prominently showcased on large information boards within the exhibition.
In addition, the exhibition features a captivating presentation of Kurdish attire, thoughtfully organized by Della Murad, Gulan’s artistic director, and a diverse collection of artworks from numerous Kurdish artists.
In addition, an impressive, expansive art installation conceived by Mariwan Jalal is to be showcased to the audience.
“We hope to create a platform for the people still living in Halabja to talk with pride about their culture. We also hope to give the Kurdish diaspora who fled Halabja an opportunity to celebrate their history and identity,” the Gulan Charity said.
The exhibition will be open to the public from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on the 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of October.