Artist pays homage to abused Iraq Kurd women with 5-km-long artwork

Cars pass beneath an artwork by Iraqi visual artist Tara Abdallah, hanging above a highway in the city of Sulaimaniyah in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region, October 26, 2020. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

Along a five-kilometer (three-mile) stretch of road in Sulaimaniyah, an Iraqi Kurdish artist on Monday unveiled a stitched collage of clothes from women survivors of domestic violence.

“Three months ago, I started collecting the clothes of women subjected to violence by their husbands and families throughout the region,” Tara Abdallah, who stitched the artwork that has been strung up across the city, told AFP.

The visual artist had asked women survivors to donate a scrap of clothing that symbolized their trauma and sewed them together to create a giant, colorful patchwork.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Iraqi visual artist Tara Abdallah (L) arrives for the unveiling of an artwork on gender-based violence, in the city of Sulaimaniyah, October 26, 2020. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

Iraqi visual artist Tara Abdallah (L) arrives for the unveiling of an artwork on gender-based violence, in the city of Sulaimaniyah, October 26, 2020. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

“I heard lots of stories about violence that women in our society endured in the course of my research... Every piece in this work has a story behind it,” she said.

The UN regularly condemns “honor killings” of women in Iraqi Kurdistan, which promotes itself as progressive, over sexual conduct.

About 37.5 percent of Kurdish women aged between 15 and 49 are also forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in the autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraqi, according to the United Nations.

An Iraqi man reaches out to touch an artwork by visual artist Tara Abdallah, in the city of Sulaimaniyah on October 26, 2020. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

An Iraqi man reaches out to touch an artwork by visual artist Tara Abdallah, in the city of Sulaimaniyah on October 26, 2020. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

The figure is less than one percent for women in the rest of Iraq.

Out of desperation, Iraqi Kurdish women often commit suicide to escape domestic violence or forced marriages.

Rights groups say domestic violence surged globally during the lockdown earlier this year to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more:

Shock in Iraq after woman throws her two children into the Tigris River

Violence mounts against Iraqi doctors as COVID-19 cases spike

Coronavirus: Refugee women face heightened risk of violence, UNHCR says

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Monday, 26 October 2020 KSA 18:44 - GMT 15:44
Top