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Women's Lamentations

Zin Ararat's avatar Zin Ararat

My artistic investigation is situated at the intersection of political history and its cultural impacts on the lives of Kurdish women, who make up a significant portion of the Kurdish political discourse and the armed struggle. Kurds have been denied basic human rights such as cultural and linguistic expression since the end of the World War One, when Kurdistan (the Kurdish region of Mesopotamia) was divided up among Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. There has been ongoing wars and political conflicts in the region since. Women’s Lamentations is a tribute to the Kurdish female fighters, who joined the armed struggle alongside their Kurdish and Arab brothers against ISIS after thousands of Yazidi Kurds were massacred and over seven thousand of their women were abducted and turned into sex slaves after August, 2014, when ISIS took over Sinjar, Iraq. The braided hair with flowered shawls worn by female fighters represents the female Kurdish martyrs and exhibit their powerful role in defeating ISIS. Braids are a very important icon in the Kurdish culture, symbolizing unity with the infinite. Uncut hair stands for power and resistance. Traditionally women in my culture would cut off their braids and displayed them on the wall to express their sorrow, grief and pain over loss or calamity. The barbed wire in Women’s Lamentations symbolizes the borders separating the Kurdish families, communities, villages and cities, while the braided hair represents the systematic torture of Kurdish people and their largely unnoticed grief in today’s world. The sculptors Doris Salcedo and Mona Hatoum have inspired my installation entitled Women’s Lamentation. As a Kurdish woman, l am concerned about ongoing ethnic wars in the world and believe that art can expose tragedies of war, speak about and make visible the critical, human issues, which might otherwise remain unknown or simply be ignored.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 7 inches
  • Medium: Synthetic hair, barbed wire and scarves
  • Width: 5 feed
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: Normal ceiling height