Gulan means flower in Kurdish. It is also a girl’s name, the name of a spring month, and of a village near Halabja, the town in the Kurdistan Region which suffered terribly in 1988 in one of the worst chemical attacks launched by the Saddam Hussein regime.
Gulan is UK registered charity managed by a board of trustees comprising David Carrington, Sarah Panizzo, Carla Garnelas, Rebwar Saed, Vian Rahman and Tan Jaff, with its Artistic Director Della Murad and its Creative Director Richard Wilding.
Gulan has held three weekend-long Runaki (meaning light) Kurdish festivals in London, in March 2009, April 2010 and March 2011, celebrating Kurdish life and culture Each festival presented the work of Kurdish visual, performing and creative artists, including dance, film and poetry and with the opportunity to enjoy Kurdish food.
Gulan has organised a series of events dedicated to exploring the diversity of faiths of Kurdistan. These celebrated the Yezidis, the Faylee Kurds, and the Al-e Haqq or “People of Truth”, also known as the Kaka’i or Yarsan.
In 2012 its combined these two strands. Its fourth Runaki festival celebrated the Jews of Kurdistan with an evening at the Royal Geographical society and a concert of Kurdish Jewish music and the Bernie Grant Arts Centre.
In 2013 it has sponsored a young Kurdish artist to spend time at the Venice Biennale when having his work shown as one of the eleven artists featured in the Iraq Pavilion.
Gulan is developing its website as a resource for the study, enjoyment and promotion of the culture of the Kurdish people and in particular to document traditional Kurdish costume and jewellery. It provides information about the Kurds and Kurdistan and is developing an archive of images.