Ruya Foundation’s chairman Tamara Chalabi continues her diary about her research trip in Iraq with curator Jonathan Watkins, for the Pavilion of Iraq:
In Sulaymaniya, the designated cultural capital of Kurdistan in the north-eastern corner of Iraq, we visited Zamwa Gallery. Many of the artists represented here create work that engages with the recent history of the region, speaking out against the violence the Kurds have endured in recent history. It is one of a few galleries in Kurdistan devoted exclusively to Kurdish artists and selling their work both domestically and internationally.
The Slemani Museum in Sulaymaniya is the second largest collection of Archaeological artifacts in Iraq, housing international treasures from as far back as the Paleolithic period in roughly 15,000BC. Sadly in recent years, many artifacts have been stolen by looters and in 2011, the government offered to pay for the safe return of many objects from it collection.