Şînda Ekrem / Qamişlo
The 8th Women’s Literature and Art Festival began with a great welcome.
Chanting “Jin, Jîyan, Azadî, em ê hunera şoreşê birêsin” (Woman, Life, Freedom, we will weave an art revolution), 100 literary and artist women in Al-Qamishli (Qamişlo) attended the 8th Women’s Literature and Art Festival.
The festival was at the Muhammad Şêxo Cultural and Art Center in Al-Qamishli, and sponsored by the Cizre Region Culture and Art Board.
The 1st Women’s Literature and Art Festival was held in Al-Qamishli in 2015. Fifteen women participated in the festival that first year, and by 2023 the number has grown to 100. The initial goal was to network between women, Botan Hoşî from the organisation committee said. Now the festival holds a competition of participants’ literary and artworks.
The festival is divided into three parts: Support and Heritage, Drawing, Painting and Literature, and Theatre and Cinema. Poems, stories, plays and films will be shown throughout the festival.
Celebrations start on 1 and 2 March every year, and the festival holds special events to celebrate the International Women’s Day on 8 March, Hoşî said.
“Because of the victims of the earthquake, we decided that there would be no singing or dancing at the festival, that we would only organise the literary side,” Hoşî said.
On the first day of the festival, Darsin Women’s Theater Group presented a play called Women, Life, Freedom. In addition, poems were read in Arabic and Kurdish, short stories in Arabic, and the film Berbû was screened.
“This is the sixth time I have attended the Women’s Festival and I relate to this organisation, the works are very good both here and in our region,” said Ilham Suleiman Agha, an Arab woman from the city of Deir Ez-Zor in northeastern Syria.
At the end of her speech, Ilham praised the festival for how colorful is was and added that is was very educational and good for building connections.
On the second and final day of the festival, on 2 March, there will be a play, poems read in Syriac, and a speech by the evaluation committee. Finally, the names of the winners will be announced and rewards will be handed out.