Awaz,(sound), 2015

video installation, 2 channel video and sound, 5’30”

Listening to music, for once all becomes united, creating an element enabling me to forget the place and borders of my presence.

Crossing (detail), 2015

Mixed media installation (detail), photograph lambda print, video, variable dimensions.

The work expresses my concern with the idea of crossing in a wider context. It has been a phenomenon accompanying mankind for thousands of years that goes beyond all societies and regions. My grandfather was among those who route the journey of leaving the Zagros Mountains to end up in the city of Arbil the capital of the Kurdistan region. Colonialism in the Middle East focused on serving the economic interest of the western powers, especially in securing the oil supplies. The policies have left a legacy of division, as well as ethnic and religious tension, which in turn has created conditions forcing millions to escape the violence and conflict, leading them to risk their lives and seek refuge in other places.

Destnuej (Purification), 2011

video installation, 2 channel video and sound, 7’02”

In my language, Destnuej means purification, to cleanse the body from all sins. When I was a boy, water for daily use was extracted from wells for drinking, cooking, and washing. Long ago the water from the wells was clear and pure, but already at that time, however, things had changed: my friends who lived in the same area suffered from illnesses linked to contaminated water.

My nephew contracted malaria and died. Since then, a lot has changed the wells no longer exist. Like in most places they were replaced by acqueducts but the problems persist. Residues of every shape and substance are poured incessantly into the water, poisoning rivers and oceans. Toxic waste, nuclear waste, chemicals, and multiply inexorably seeping into groundwater. Slowly, day after day, they enter into our bodies. For these reasons, the water is no longer pure. Drinking, cooking, washing. Purifying. Purification is an ancient ritual, disseminated in the four corners of the world.The man who always drinks this water is contaminates his own body. The man who uses it to purify himself contaminates himself. My work is based on and motivated by these themes, which are also linked to the general degradation man causes to the environment around us.

AU, 2011

mixed media installation with audio 280 (h) x 320 (w) x 200 (d) cm

“Au” means water in Kurdish. It is present on our planet in enormous quantities. For the most part, however, it is not available for use considering the salt water which makes up our oceans and glaciers. The remaining quantity, which we use for the needs of mankind could be considered sufficient for the moment, but the resources are not unlimited. The need for water increases in an exponential way with the rise of the world population, and in a few years time the supply might be in jeopardy. Add to this man’s carelessness and irresponsibility. We waste and pollute the water supplies in the name of progress, of consumerism and of economic interests. It is estimated that within the next twenty years, consumption is destined to increase by 40%. What’s more, already today a large part of the world’s population does not have access clean water sources; among them are the people of the Middle East. In ancient days and until a few decades ago, these sources existed throughout the territory. They were called oases. Today after the building of dams by Turkey in the 70’s and by Syria in the 80’s, and the relentless draining of 15,000 square kilometers of Iraqi land- a decision by the regime- everything has changed: where there was once fertile land, there is now desert and desolation. The World Bank estimates that in 2035, 90% of the population of Western Asia, including the Arab Peninsula, will be without water. The small quantity that will still be available will be poured into urban areas, while the countryside will drown in inescapable aridity. The accumulation of refuse of large urban and industrial areas over the years has created further danger and damage to the integrity of this precious resource. Underground water levels are polluted by toxic substances. Non-biodegradable materials from dumps accumulate in canals and oceans. This work emulates the disturbing images from the media of islands composed entirely of accumulated waste.


installation performance

 Illumination uses the recreation of a site-specific landmark to  transpose notions of recognition and value. Qala, an ancient fortress overlooking the city center of Erbil is one of many cultural heritage sites in Iraq. Perhaps the most important in  Iraq’s Kurdish north, the fortress was an ancient city to the  Assyrians, Abbassids, Ottomans, and home to a lost battle by Alexander the Great. Its most significant designation is as the  longest inhabited city space in the world. Recognized by  Unesco as a world heritage site but long neglected, the fortress is currently undergoing revitalization as the city of Erbil and various developers are looking at ways to increase tourism.  Illumination recreates the fortress as a site for mediation on the ephemeral quality of history, heritage, and how we mark the spaces that hold value. By establishing a participatory ceremony with the fortress at its center, the work presents a memorial not only to the site itself, but a moment for reflection on the architecture of what is lost and preserved.

Perfect World, 2009

video installation, 2 channel video and sound, 7′ 30”

It never faded out. It is more and more present and huge; caused by wars, environmental disasters, famines and poverty. It is a phenomenon called migration.Statistical studies have tried for decades to define the consequences and measure its extension; in the last years the phenomenon has developed in such a way that it is virtually impossible to calculate its extension. The man of the future will therefore be, out of necessity, the result of these migratories flows: a crossroad of cultures and different traditions. A new individual, in the end, who will have the task to translate into reality an ancient and ambitious dream: to build a perfect world.