Return to Kurdistan,

Richard Wilding

Photographic exhibition and illustrated lecture at the Talary Saray Sulimani, Sulaymaniyah

17 May 2016

“The challenges now facing this region make it more important than ever to celebrate and promote the rich culture and history of Kurdistan, its natural beauty, the resilience and warmth of its people.”

During May 2016, Gulan held its first major cultural events in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Return to Kurdistan, a photographic exhibition and illustrated lecture by Richard Wilding, Gulan’s Creative Director, was held at the Talary Saray Sulimani, Sulaymaniyah on 17th May.

Gulan was pleased to work in collaboration with the Zamwa Gallery at the recently restored Talary Saray Sulimani.  The Saray was built by the British in 1918 as a police station for Sulaymaniyah. The slideshow includes images of the building then and now.

Return to Kurdistan showed contemporary colour photography of Kurdistan by Richard Wilding, Gulan’s Creative Director, accompanied by black and white photographs taken in the 1940’s by Anthony Kersting, courtesy of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Richard gave an illustrated lecture exploring the region’s ancient civilisation, documenting its religious and ethnic diversity, history of persecution and renewal, and the current refugee crisis.  In many instances he was able to show examples of his own work alongside photographs taken by Anthony Kersting showing the remarkable changes that have taken place.

Gulan wishes to thank Dilshad Bahadin of the Zamwa Gallery and Hassan Jaff of the Talary Saray Sulimani.  The organisation of this event would not have been possible without the assistance of Gulan trustee Rebwar Saed, and Hawre Ali Taha and Aryan Abubakr Ali, the young artists who were awarded Gulan residencies in Venice in 2015.

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Courtauld Institute of Art LogoThe Courtauld Institute of Art is a self-governing college of the University of London, specialising in the history of art and conservation. It is among the most prestigious institutions in the world for these disciplines.

When he died in 2008, Anthony Kersting bequeathed his archive of black and white photographs to the Courtauld Institute of Art’s Conway Library.

Zamwa Gallery

Zamwa-GalleryZamwa Gallery was founded in 1995 and shows the work of Kurdish artists. It is located in the centre of the historic city of Sulaymaniyah. In the past the building was inhabited by Mr. Ibrahim Ahmad, a great Kurdish patriot, writer, poet, novelist and linguist. His daughter Mrs. Hero Ibrahim Ahmed was responsible for establishing the gallery in his memory.