Return to Kurdistan

Richard Wilding

Erbil Citadel Cultural Centre

Exhibition Monday 9th – Friday 13th May 2016, 11am – 5pm daily

Lecture Tuesday 10th May, 5pm

An exhibition and illustrated lecture by Richard Wilding showing his contemporary colour photography of Kurdistan, accompanied by black and white photographs taken in the 1940’s by Anthony Kersting.

“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.”

Richard’s photographs of Kurdistan explore the region’s ancient civilisation, documenting its religious and ethnic diversity, history of persecution and renewal, and the current refugee crisis.

This exhibition and lecture, organised by Gulan with the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization (HCECR), will bring Richard’s photographs to Kurdistan for the first time. The exhibition will also include historical photographs by Anthony Kersting made available by the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. The images will be accompanied by quotes from historical travellers such as A.M Hamilton.

Erbil citadel

HCECR LogoErbil citadel is dramatically situated on top of a mound, or ‘tell’, of accumulated archaeological layers, visually dominating the modern city of Erbil below. Believed to have been in existence for at least 6,000 years, Erbil claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

In 2007, the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalisation (HCECR) was established to protect and restore the citadel. Restoration work began in 2010, under the leadership of Dara Al Yaqoobi, head of the HCECR. The citadel was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in June 2014.

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.