Ali Raza Garmiany

Memory and Loss, 2019
Poured sand and fabric
3 x 2.5 metres

This work by Ali Raza is one of a series of portraits made of poured sand and fabric. It depicts Taimoor Abdullah, a survivor of Anfal, whose family were killed and buried in the desert. 

“My current artistic work is based on the traumatic memory of the Anfal genocide. The work visualizes the clothing and belongings of Kurdish victims who were buried in mass graves in remote desert locations in the south of Iraq between 1987-1988.”

Artist’s biography

Ali Raza is a Kurdish artist born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1980, the year the
Iran-Iraq war started. His childhood was marked by a strong military presence
in his homeland, including frequent attacks and aerial bombings. Growing up,
Ali Raza experienced the full savagery of war and genocide. When he was eleven years old, following the Kurdish uprising of 1991, he was forced to flee with his family over the Iranian border, travelling on foot through the Kurdish mountains for twenty-six days.

Ali Raza’s work explores violence, collective memory and hope, often focusing on the historical Kurdish struggle and the Anfal genocide of 1988. He draws on his own personal experience and emotions, and on his family’s memories and trauma. 

Ali Raza’s current primary media are painting, installation and mixed media with supporting video art. He moved to Ireland in 2007 to continue his art studies. Currently, he is a second year PhD student at the National College
of Art and Design in Dublin (NCAD).