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City Arts visit to Sulaimany, Kurdistan

Date published: 8 Oct 2013

Posted by: Kate Duncan

Kurdistan - Peshmerga Mountains

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Kate Duncan has returned from an exciting and productive trip to Sulaimany in Kurdistan.  This gallery contains photos from the visit.

The trip was arranged to make links with the Ministry of Culture and Youth’s, Sulaimany Theatre Department.  City Arts’ Programme Manager Kate Duncan gave a talk about City Arts to an audience of arts organisations, arts professionals and Ministers of Culture.  The presentation also included an overview of the arts structure within the UK and in particular how Arts Council England supports and advocates for culture and the arts.   Shane Shambhu, physical theatre performer and dancer spoke about his work and how it has been supported by Arts Council England.  The presentation was well received and the Deputy Prime Minister also introduced himself to us.  Feedback from the talk suggested that whilst there were many good ideas for development, the structure of the arts and culture in Kurdistan is undergoing a period of renewal following on from Kurdistan gaining autonomy in Iraq.

Shane went on to perform two of his works, Dr Jagad and Mr Haridas and Pogunilla, at the Hall of Culture in Sulaimany that evening to an audience of over 200. His work was received warmly, although for some audience members the work was a very new experience.  Shane’s led two workshop sessions were delivered with participants selected by the Sulaimany Theatre Department.  The participants were very enthusiastic, enjoyed the workshops and left hungry for more. The visit ended with a long meeting with the Theatre Department Manager and Deputy Minister for Culture with plans to take the work forward and forge exciting cultural links between the UK and Kurdistan.

City Arts was presented with an award of appreciation from the Sulaimany Theatre Department.  City Arts would like to thank Gaylan Nazhad, who made the trip possible, and Safin Anwar Shwkry (Theatre Department Manager) for his invitation and hospitality during the visit.