White Faces. Reframing memory


2017- on going

by Yadgar Bakir

directed by Linda Dorigo

language: Kurdish (Sorani), English

technical requirements: video projection, installation, exhibition, live music


Iraq waged war against Iran from 1980 to 1988. During the last years of the conflict, Saddam Hussein planned a genocide against the Kurds and other minorities in northern Iraq, and called this operation Al-Anfal.

The acts of violence were often perpetrated in very private domains. The soldiers used to raid houses to find documents that could prove the ties between regime-fighting peshmerga and the Kurdish civilians. Hundreds of photos were burnt, cut or made disappear by family members – usually by mothers – for personal safety reasons. Once family memory was erased, the traces of the collective identity of a population that has always lived in the shadow of history disappeared too.

At the time of Al-Anfal, Yadgar was four years old. A few years ago, he found the fragment of a photo that depicted him. A piece was missing, so he asked his mother what she had done with it. She cut it away because, just beside him, one could see the kalashnikov of a peshmerga. At that time Yadgar decided to rebuild his own past, asking family members to describe the original photographs and their story. Thanks to such tales, Yadgar is now recreating those photos.


selected events and reviews

PhotoTales, Rome, Italy 2017

Passeggiate Fotografiche Romane, Rome, Italy 2017

Allegralaboratory, 2017

San Fedele, Milan, Italy 2018

Teatro Miela, Trieste, Italy 2018