[P4502] Kurdish Artistic Expression, Resistance, and the State: Literature

Created by Christian Sinclair
Friday, 11/18/16 3:45pm


This organized panel seeks to explore the relationships between artistic expression, resistance, and the state. Artistic expression is the manifestation of creative imagination through music, song, literature, film, dance, theatre, and many other venues. While many societies consider artistic expression freedom of speech, this is not the case with Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iran, and to some extent Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish artistic expression has routinely been suppressed; Kurdish artists have been jailed or forced into exile. Kurdish cultural production is viewed as resistance to state policies and frequently labeled as a terrorist activity, particularly in Turkey.
For this special panel papers explore this volatile relationship between Kurdish artistic expression, resistance, and state politics. Some questions that come to mind are: How does the state view Kurdish artistic expression? How is it received by that state? In light of state censorship, how do Kurds use artistic production to promote Kurdish identity? To what extent do Kurds self-censor when creating their art? How has globalization affected cultural production and expression in these states? What creative spaces have been carved out for production and dissemination of Kurdish artistic expression? Given the nature of the relationship between the state and Kurdish expression of identity, some of those artistic spaces are found in the diaspora. Therefore, another question to consider might be: What is the role of Kurdish artists in the diaspora in expressing resistance to state policies?


Kurdish Studies Association (KSA)






Christian Sinclair

(Moravian College)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair; Organizer;

Amir Sharifi

(California State University Long Beach)
Teaching/Research Interests: My central interest is literacy socialization as a cultural model, with a particular focus on how scriptal and calligraphic traditions inform modern literacy and orthographic practices in Iranian communities across time and...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;