Kurdistan Memory Programme


Tuesday 8th October 2019 | 18:30 - 20:30



An evening of short films produced by the Kurdistan Memory Programme, including ‘One Yazidi Family vs ISIS’, ‘The Gassing of Sewsenan’, ‘Exile in the Iraqi Desert’ followed by Q&A with the KMP’s International Director Gwynne Roberts


One Yazidi Family vs ISIS | 50mins

The documentary tells the dramatic story of the Chattos, a Yazidi family whose flight from violent persecution, enslavement and death at the hands of ISIS symbolises the horrors experienced by the Yazidi community and internally displaced victims in Iraq and Syria.

The film charts the Chattos’ battle for survival as they struggle to free themselves from jihadists and reunite with their family. 


Exile in the Iraqi desert | 8mins

After the collapse of General Mullah Mustafa Barzani’s uprising in 1975, thousands of Barzani Kurds were exiled to the southern Iraqi deserts. Zahra Faris Khalid, a Barzani Kurd, was just a young girl when she was forced to leave her family home with her father and brother and transported to the south on the back of an army lorry.


The gassing of Sewsenan | 4mins

Sewsenan village was attacked with mustard gas and nerve agents on 22nd March, 1988, one day after Newroz, the Kurdish New Year, and less than a week after Iraqi military’s massive attack on Halabja.

This is a first hand account of what happened by Obed Mahmoud Mohammed, a local tailor, who watched his wife and six children die in a cloud of toxic chemicals. The attack marked the beginning of the second phase of Saddam Hussein’s genocidal campaign against the Kurds known as Anfal.


Daniel Libeskind and The Kurdistan Museum | 5mins

The Kurdistan Museum was designed by the world famous memorial architect, Daniel Libeskind, and when built will set the story of the Kurds in stone. ‘Architecture is a symbol of identity,’ says Libeskind. ‘And so amidst the destruction of Palmyra and of great ancient places, to build a museum in Erbil is an affirmation of the very opposite. By constructing the present you really are building the future.’


Gwynne Roberts, International Director, Kurdistan Memory Programme

Gwynne Roberts is an Emmy Award winning television director. His film journalism has also been awarded the Ed Murrow Award for Foreign Affairs. Gwynne has filmed in China, the Soviet Union, and across the Middle East and Africa. He currently heads the Kurdistan Memory Programme, an ambitious project documenting key moments in Kurdish history. Gwynne also leads an international project to build the Kurdistan Museum which has been designed by the world’s leading memorial architect, Daniel Libeskind.




The event is supported by the Art Council England and organised in partnership with GULAN.