We Are Visible 


An intercultural art project in Sulaymaniyah

A joint project of the association Mesela and the MS Gallery

The project "We Are Visible" aims at an intercultural cooperation between visual artists and youth and adults from Sulaymaniyah. The project group consists of local residents and refugees from Rojava, Afrin, Shengal, and Iran. 


A core group in Sulaymaniyah will prepare and implement the project.


The project responds to the need of the Kurdish population together with artists to oppose the current events in Rojava and the consistently recurring genocide against the Kurdish people with aesthetic experiences meant to develop a proper form of memory.


The visual artists will moderate together with the local population the following: the joint processing of loam - from excavation from local sources to the shaping of simple loam bricks and the individual design up to the joining of the individual contributions to form an overall installation sculpture. Contributions from other areas of art are also welcome. Musical and dance contributions with local and thematic references will enrich the project. The aim is to merge the individual contributions of the different participants into a shared artistic piece, which defines itself from the excavation of the clay to the construction of the sculpture as a whole.  Throughout the whole process, not only will participants work cooperatively, but they will also cook, eat, talk, and celebrate together. 

Loam is an original material that can be extracted locally and is still used as a building material in the region, especially in rural areas. The project "We Are Visible" is based on traditional loam building processes and transforms them into a complete sculpture via the creative process. In this act of artistic construction the individual is strengthened by his or her creativity. Through this work, the vitality and artistic potential of this region will emerge and thus a visible, symbolic sign will create a contrast to the painful destruction. The project "We Are Visible" enables an intercultural cooperation of visual artists, the local population, and refugees.  At the same time, this project also consciously encourages a dialogue among the participants. The project participants will be strengthened through their creative resources and sensitized to their rich cultural tradition. 


The actual highlight of the project is the opening of the exhibition, which will be accompanied by dance and musical contributions that have a regional or thematic connection to the project. If possible, the event will take place outdoors so that a big fire can be ignited where the barbecues and food service will take place.


The whole course of the project will be documented by a local team.

project organisation Association Mesela / MS Gallery Sulaymaniyah-Iraq

The association Mesela promotes and connects artists in Switzerland and the Middle East. It implements cultural projects involving the local population. The MS Gallery functions in working groups with young  artists and conducts courses in "art management".

Project organisation ::: Werner Neuhaus (Künstlerische Projektleitung, www.wernerneuhaus.ch), Zana Rasol (Künstlerische Projektleitung, Leiter MS Gallery), Özlem Yasar (Projektkoordination, www.mesela.ch)


The project is supported by: Culture and Sustainable Development /// Factory, Sulaimania /// College of fine Arts, Sulaimania /// Institute of fine Arts, Sulaymaniyah /// Institute of Kurdology, Sulaimania /// Civil Development Organisation, Sulaimania

The project "We Are Visible" is dependent on outside forms of financial support.

© 2019 by Verein Mesela I Wanner 433, CH 3436 Zollbrück I mail

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