Kurdish Women Artists and the Jineology Perspective

Savan Abdalrahman – Iraqi Kurdistan

On the 10th of January a panel of “Women Artists and the Jineology Perspective” took place in Iraqi, Kurdistan in the city of Sulaymaniyah. The organizers of the event were members of Jineology academy who are currently working to establish the archive and research center of Jineology.

The term Jineology means “women’s science”. “Jin” is Kurdish and means “woman”. Logy is derived from the Greek term “logos” for knowledge.

“Jin” also comes from the Kurdish term “Jiyan”, which mean “life”. In the Indo-European language group and in the Middle East the words Jin or Zen, all of which mean “woman”, are often synonymous with life and vitality.

Jineology is active in many countries in Europe and Latin America and this year the centre will function its activities and research in the ‘South of Kurdistan’ or Iraqi Kurdistan. And this panel was an opening for the Jineology activities.

Zehra Doğan a Kurdish artist and journalist from Amed, who was born in 1989 was one of the panelists who visited Sulaymaniyah in order to participate in the panel. Zehra was sentenced of two years and 9 months and 22 days in prison for “terrorist propaganda” because her art works on social media and her media work.

Zehra is an active artist member of Jineology academy. She presented her topic under the title of “Art and Identity” and spoke about her experience with art as a form of protest.

Despite being in prison Zehra did not stop creating art as she explained “The boundaries could not stop me. In prison everything was forbidden, I tried to use any suitable material that reached to my hand such as old clothes and newspaper pages as canvases. Flowers and leaves and most importantly of all, period blood.” She has also made drawing brushes out of her fellow imprisoned women’s hair.

The Second panelist was Rozhgar Mustafa who presented her topic under the title “Art work as an act” Rozhgar Mustafa is a video and performance artist based in Sulaymaniyah. After training as a painter at the Institute of Fine Arts and the University of Sulaymaniyah, she began experimenting with video, performance and ready-made objects to make art works about women and womanhood in Iraq.

In 2012 she moved to London, where she completed an MFA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Since returning to Iraq, she has been active in the art scene in Sulaymaniyah.

The third panelist, Nagihan Akarsal a writer and journalist and the member of Jineology academy presented her topic “The perspective of Jineology” and spoke about the aim and functions of Jineology as the science of women.

Nagihan has conducted cultural and social research in Afrin and Sengal. Currently she is working on her thesis of her conducted researches. Also, Khanda Hameed a writer and philosophy expert from Kurdistan was the panel moderator and organiser.

Following the panel, a warm conversation between the attendees and the panelists took place.

The attendees seemed interested to hear more about the Jineology activity and seminars.

And so, the Jineology academy will be holding a performance art event for Zehra on this Tuesday.

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Kurdish Women Artists and the Jineology Perspective

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