Return to Assyria: A Photographic Journey by Richard Wilding

6th November 2018, Asia House, London

Asia House and Gulan are thrilled to present this talk to coincide with the opening of the British Museum exhibition ‘I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria’ (8 November 2018 – 24 February 2019).

During his presentation, Richard Wilding will show his contemporary photographs of Iraqi Kurdistan and Northern Iraq, alongside historical photographs taken by Gertrude Bell in 1909-11 and Anthony Kersting in 1944-46. He will also feature the drawings and written accIounts of 19th-century archaeologists such as Austen Henry Layard, and Jacobsen & Lloyd from the 1930s.

Wilding’s subjects include the Erbil Citadel (ancient Arbela), which claims to be the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, the Assyrian rock reliefs at Khinnis and Maltai, and the canals built in 690 BC by King Sennacherib to take water to his gardens in Nineveh—possibly the real location of the fabled ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon.’

In this fascinating photographic journey, Wilding will explore the various ethnic and religious groups that have inhabited the region, including Kurds, Arabs, Yezidis, Assyrian Christians and Jews. Wilding’s images and commentary explore traces of the region’s ancient Assyrian civilisation, its religious and ethnic diversity, history of persecution and renewal, and the crisis caused by the emergence of ISIS in 2014.

The event is held in partnership with Gulan, and is a satellite event of Asian Art in London.

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