+1 Recommend
1 collections

      If you have found this article useful and you think it is important that researchers across the world have access, please consider donating, to ensure that this valuable collection remains Open Access.

      Zanj is published by Pluto Journals, an Open AcZcess publisher. This means that everyone has free and unlimited access to the full-text of all articles from our international collection of social science journalsFurthermore Pluto Journals authors don’t pay article processing charges (APCs).

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Constituting Histories Through Culture In Iraqi Kurdistan



            Today, Kurds in Northern Iraq are employing a narrative of the Kurdish nation that bears strong ethnic roots and includes the memory of the victimization of the Kurdish nation. This essay examines the repurposing of the National Museum at Amna Suraka in Iraqi Kurdistan, from its former role as a Ba'ath site for detention, torture and execution, into a site for the preservation of Kurdish history and culture. In doing so, this essay locates the National Museum at Amna Suraka, and its role as a museum for Kurdish history and culture and as a national memorial,within the historical context of the Iraqi state. Such an examination, demonstrates the intersectional nature of the struggle for national identity within Iraqi Kurdish society, non-Kurds outside of Iraqi Kurdistan and for transnational Kurdish publics.


            Author and article information

            Zanj: The Journal of Critical Global South Studies
            Pluto Journals
            1 July 2018
            : 2
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/zanjglobsoutstud.2.issue-1 )
            : 65-91
            University of North Georgia
            © 2018 Global South Research Consortium

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata

            Political science,Political & Social philosophy,Movements,Epistemology,Cultural studies,Philosophy of culture
            art,nationalism,Kurdistan,Amna Suraka,National Museum,Iraq,Kurds


            1. Al-Bahloly, Saleem. The Importance and Impossibility of Interpretation: Writing a History of Modern Art After 1963. Roundtable presentation Perspectives on Researching Iraq Today (full text from Arab Studies Journal), Fall 2015. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/18731436/Roundtable_Perspectives_on_Researching_Iraq_Today_ full_text_from_Arab_Studies_Journal_

            2. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition). New York/London: Verso, 2016 (Original Publication 1983).

            3. Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

            4. Azar, Edward. Management of Protracted Social Conflict: Theory and Cases. Hampshire: Dartmouth, 1990.

            5. Bahoora, Haytham. Literature as Archive: Writing Literary History as Cultural History. Roundtable presentation Perspectives on Researching Iraq Today (full text from Arab Studies Journal), Fall 2015. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/18731436/Roundtable_Perspectives_on_Researching_Iraq_Today_full_text_from_Arab_Studies_ Journal_

            6. Barth, Fredrik. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. Long Grove: Wave Land Press, 1969.

            7. Bashkin, Orit. The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.

            8. Benjamen, Alda. Writing a Minority's History of Iraq. Roundtable presentation Perspectives on Researching Iraq Today (full text from Arab Studies Journal), (Fall 2015). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/18731436/Roundtable_Perspectives_on_Researching_Iraq_Today_full_text_from_Arab_Studies_Journal_

            9. Bock, Tobias. Linkages between Politics and Society in Iraqi Kurdistan: Assessing the Region's Civil Society, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/Tobias%20Bock%20-%20Assessing%20the%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Iraqi%20Kurdistan.pdf

            10. Brenneman, Robert L. As Strong as the Mountains. Long Grove: Waveland Press Inc., 2007.

            11. Brubaker, Rogers and Fredrick Cooper. “Beyond ‘Identity'.” Theory and Society 29 (2000): 1–47.

            12. Bryman, Alan. Social Research Methods. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

            13. Clifford, James. “On Collecting Art and Culture.” In Visual Culture Reader, edited by Nicolas Mirzoeff. New York: Routledge, 1999.

            14. Cockrell-Abdullah, Autumn. “Art and Agency: Transforming Relationships of Power in Iraqi Kurdistan.” In Promoting Peace through Practice, Academia, and the Arts, edited by Mohamed Walid-Lotfy. London: IGI Global, 2018.

            15. —–. “Art and Agency: Transforming Relationships of Power in Iraqi Kurdistan.” Ph.D. Dissertation, International Conflict Management, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, 2018.

            16. Coles, Janet and Robert Budwig. Beads: An Exploration on Bead Traditions Around the World. New York: Simon and Schuster Editions, 1997.

            17. Conklin, Beth. “Body Paint, Feathers, and VCRs: Aesthetics and Authenticity in Amazonian Activism.” American Ethnologist 24(4) (1997): 711–737.

            18. D'Alleva, Anne. Methods and Theories of Art History (2nd ed.). London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2012

            19. Damluji, Mona. “Introduction.” Roundtable presentation Perspectives on Researching Iraq Today (full text from Arab Studies Journal), (Fall 2015). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/18731436/Roundtable_Perspectives_on_Researching_Iraq_Today_ full_text_from_Arab_Studies_Journal_

            20. Erskine-Loftus, Pamela. “Introduction.” In Reimaging Museums: Practice in the Arabian Peninsula, edited by Pamela Erskine-Loftus. Edinburgh: Museums Etc Ltd., 2013.

            21. Fischer-Tahir, Andrea. “Searching for Sense: The Concept of Genocide as Knowledge Production in Iraqi Kurdistan.” In Writing the Modern History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges, edited by J. Tejel, Peter Slugett, Riccardo Bcco, and Hamit Bozarslan. Hackensack: World Scientific, 2012.

            22. Galtung, Johan. “Violence, Peace and Peace Research.” Journal of Peace Research 6(3) (1969): 167–191.

            23. Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983.

            24. Genocide in Iraq - The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds, July 1993. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/report/2006/08/14/genocide-iraq-anfal-campaign-against-kurds/report-summary

            25. Gunter, Michael M. The Kurds Ascending: The Evolution Solution to the Kurdish Problem in Iraq and Turkey. New York: Palgrave, 2008.

            26. Hamexan, Shirwan Ali. Interview. July 10, 2015. Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan.

            27. Hassanpour, Amir. Nationalism and Language in Kurdistan, 1918-1985. San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press, 1992.

            28. —–. “The Making of Kurdish Identity: Pre-20th Century Historical and Literary Discourses.” In Essays on the Origins of Kurdish Nationalism, edited by A. Vali, Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 2003.

            29. Hasso, Frances S. and Zakia Salime, eds. Freedom Without Permission: Bodies and Space in the Arab Revolutions. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

            30. Hinton, Alexander Laban and O'Neill, Kevin Lewis, eds. Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009 (Kindle Edition).

            31. Hobsbawm, E.J. Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

            32. Hutchinson, John and A.D. Smith, eds. Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

            33. “Iraqi Kurdistan Profile Timeline.” August 1, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-15467672

            34. Irina, Dana. “A Culture of Human Rights and the Right to Culture.” Journal for Communication and Culture 1(2) (2011): 30–48.

            35. Kaiser, Robert J. “Homeland Making and the Territorialization of National Identity.” In Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World: Walker Connor and the Study of Nationalism, edited by Daniele Conversi. New York: Routledge, 2002.

            36. Kane, A. “Narratives of Nationalism: Constructing Irish National Identity during the Land War, 1879-1882.“ National Identities 2(3) (2000): 245–264.

            37. King, Diane. “Asylum Seekers / Patron Seekers: Interpreting Iraqi Kurdish Migration.” Human Organization 64(4) (2005): 316–326.

            38. King, Diane E. Kurdistan on the Global Stage: Kinship, Land and Community in Iraq. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2014.

            39. Lederach, John Paul. The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

            40. Leibmann, Marian. Art Approaches to Conflict. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1996.

            41. Maiese, Michelle. Summary of “The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace.” Retrieved from Beyond Intractability. http://www.beyondintractability.org

            42. MacDonald, Sharon J. “Musums, National, Postnational and Transcultural Identities.” Museum and Society (2003): 1–16.

            43. McDowall, David. A Modern History of the Kurds. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2014.

            44. Mitchell, Timothy. “The World as Exhibition.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 31(2) (April 1989): 217–236.

            45. Mlodoch, Karin. “Fragmented Memory, Competing Narratives: The Perspective of Women Survivors of the Anfal.” In Writing the Modern History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges, edited by J. Tejel, Peter Slugett, Riccardo Bcco, and Hamit Bozarslan. Hackensack: World Scientific, 2012.

            46. National Museum at Amna Suraka Brochure. Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, (n.d.) Natali, Denise. The Kurdish Quasi-State: Development and Dependency in Post-Gulf War Iraq. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2010.

            47. Panofsky, Erwin. Meaning in the Visual Arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955.

            48. Phillips, David L. The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2015.

            49. Prins, Harald E.L. “Visual Media and the Primitivist Perplex.” In Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain, edited by F. Ginsburg, Lila Abu-Lughod, and Brian Larkin. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

            50. Ramsbotham, Oliver. “Conflict Resolution in Art and Popular Culture.” In Contemporary Conflict Resolution, edited by Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse, and Hugh Miall. Malden: Polity Press, 2011.

            51. Rashed, Rebwar Saeed. “Out of Kurdish Soil: The Artwork of Rebwar Rashed and the Museum of Modern Art, Sulaimani.” Doctoral Dissertation. Middlesex University. London, 2012.

            52. Saeed, Bakhtyar and Rzgar O. Ali. Visions of the Kurdish Plastic Art. Sulaimaniyah: Government of Kurdistan Region Ministry of Culture, 2013.

            53. Schirch, Lisa. Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding. New York: Good Books, 2014.

            54. Shabout, Nada M. Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2007.

            55. Shank, Michael and Lisa Schirch. “Strategic Arts-Base Peacebuilding.” Arts and Peace. Escola de Cultura de Pau, 2008. Retrieved from http://escolapau.uab.es/img/programas/musica/strategic_arts.pdf

            56. Shank, Michael and Howard Zinn. Forward by “Redefining the Movement: Art Activism.” Seattle Journal for Social Justice 3(2), 2004: Article 20. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/sjsj/vol3/iss2/20.

            57. Sheyholislami, J. Kurdish Identity, Discourse, and New Media. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2011. Kindle Edition.

            58. Shirwan. Student, Personal Communication, September 2, 2017.

            59. Stein, Sabina. “Competing Political Science Perspectives on the Role of Religion in Conflict in Politorbis No. 52, 2011.“ Retrieved from https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam/eda/en/documents/publications/Politorbis/politorbis-52_EN.pdf#page=21

            60. Steiner, Christopher J. “Museums and the Politics of Nationalism.” Museum Anthropology 2(19) (Fall 1995): 3–6.

            61. Turgenev, Ivan and Richard Freeborn. Father and Sons. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

            62. Uwer, Thomas and Von der Sacken, Thomas. Working Paper. “Iraqi-Kurdistan: A Model for Iraq?” Presented to the Aspen Conference: Greater Middle East: Doha, Qatar, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.worldsecuritynetwork.com/Iraq/Thomas-von-der-Osten-Sacken-and-Thomas-Uwer-/Working-Paper-Iraqi-Kurdistan-a-Model-for-Iraq

            63. Vali, A. “The Kurds and their ‘others': Fragmented identity and fragmented politics.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 18( 2) (1998): 82- 95.

            64. van Bruinessen, Martin. Kurdish Ethno-Nationalism versus Nation-Building States (collected articles). Istanbul: The ISIS Press, 2000.

            65. —–. “Kurdish Identities and Kurdish Nationalism in the Early Twenty-First Century.” (21) Yüzyilda Milliyetçilik: Teori ve Siyaset, edited by Elçin Aktoprak and A. Celil Kaya, 349–373, Istanbul: İletişim, 2016.

            66. Wendt, Alexander. Social Theory of International Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

            67. Williams, Brackette. “A Class Act: Anthropology and the Race to Nation Across Ethnic Terrain.” Annual Review of Anthropology (18) (1989): 401–444.

            68. Wolf, Eric R. Envisioning Power: Ideologies of Dominance and Crisis. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.


            Comment on this article