Kani Kamil: Visual Artist of AiE’s Artist-in-Residence Program 2022

Kani Kamil is an Iraqi Kurdish artist and scholar working with photography, instal-lation, and needlework, as well as video and sound. Her work, reflecting on the socio-political circumstances of Kurdish women in Iraq, has been shown in several inter-national art shows and film festivals in the UK, Iceland, Poland, and the US, and was invited to the Kurdish Film Festival in Berlin in October 2021. The subject of her project “Hanar” will be Runak, a Kurdish feminist who documented women’s everyday lives in Southern Kurdistan in the 1990s.

Kamil’s “powerful proposal focusing on hidden and forgotten histories, experiences and voices”, says Claudia Tazreiter, was most convincing to the jury. Kamil shows Runak and her work as a heretofore “invisible archivist” having assembled an “invisible archive”. With the male view regarded as the only authentic witness to any sociopolitical cause or event in Southern Kurdistan – and elsewhere – a female view has been relegated to female issues alone. Kamil’s project not only represents marginalized Kurdish women but also challenges the patriarchal structures of archival practices. The project therefore fights against the perpetuation of Kurdish women’s invisibility – past and present.