Hemn Hamid

Art and war meet in Mosul

Children’s Weapons, 2017-18

During the occupation of Mosul by Daesh (ISIS), people’s sources of visual comfort and inspiration were severely limited. For many children, the weapons they saw brandished by ISIS became the most exciting objects they encountered. These weapons represented power and respect, but also fun and daily life.
This led children to make their own copies, using various waste materials, from branches and pieces of wood to toy balls and bits of plastic, bound together with string and black bicycle tape. The tape was very common in Mosul, as bicycles became the preferred means of transport due to limited supplies of fuel.

Artist’s biography

Hemn Hamid has had extensive experience as a humanitarian aid worker.
He was a supervisor in the Kawargosk Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan and he worked as a project manager responsible for aid distribution to Syrian refugee camps. He also assisted Norwegian People’s Aid and its partner, the Zhya Organisation, working with 5,000 vulnerable individuals in the Khabat district of Iraqi Kurdistan. In Mosul, he worked as field co-ordinator for a project assisting internationally displaced people. 

Hemn has held exhibitions in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in 2000 and 2003.
In 2007, he exhibited in France with Avan Omer and in 2009, his work was shown in a sculpture exhibition in Yorkshire, United Kingdom.