Kurds demand attention from UK Media

A group of Kurdish protesters breached security and staged a demonstration at the Guardian office in London last week.

They were reacting to what they felt had been a lack of coverage of the Kurdish plight from the Western media.

According to the New York Times, last Friday’s was one of two demonstrations in Europe in the past week. Another similar protest was held in Cologne in Germany, at the RTL studio.

Hilary Osborne at the Guardian tweeted, “One of the PKK protesters sneaked through the barrier on my pass. They are now reading a statement to the newsroom.”

A New York Times blog also referred to the protesters as being affiliated with the PKK. The Guardian says that the group were members of a Kurdish Youth group, based in London.

The Kurdish population is currently split predominantly between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The Kurdish people remain the largest ethnic group in the world without its own state, according to scholar Jean Allein.

A Thousand Words

The age old saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words” has a lot of truth behind it. So I wondered, how many words could I convey if I combined picture AND words? Taking great inspiration from photographers such as Jim Goldberg, I embarked on my little project.

In each picture I wanted to convey the suffering of either an individual or of a group of people. For example, in the ‘Kurdistan’ photo, it is a reflection of the pain undergone by the Kurdish people. Though there is only one Kurdish boy portrayed in the piece, the text in Kurdish is a poem about the atrocities of the Halabja chemical bombing in 1988. Its a symbol of the ongoing discrimination against the Kurdish people int he Middle East, of which the incident in Halabja was a prime example.

Other photos in the essay, such as the ‘Bhai Saab’ photo, portray the internal suffering of a single man, growing up between worlds, and fitting into neither. The text in this photo was chosen by the subject, and is taken from the lyrics of an Outlandish song, one which he felt resonated for him. It is about growing up in the UK and being of Asian background, amidst a tense political climate.

The photo named ‘Afa’ is symbolic of the suffering of women in South Asian societies. The text is a piece from daughter to Mother denoting her understanding of her sacrifices and her immense gratitude for them. On a technical note, I decided to do portraits because I want the viewers to focus on their expressions and the emotions denoted by them. Please leave comments at the bottom of my blog and let me know what you think of my work.