Erbil Photo Exhibition Urges People to “Wake Up” and Respect Environment
|March 27, 2012||Filled under Iraq Daily News|
ERBIL, (AKnews) – A photo exhibition calling on citizens of the Kurdistan Region to respect their environment made its debut in Erbil’s Shanidar Park.
The four-day event, entitled Wake Up, started this afternoon with 40 photos on display.
The exhibition was organized by the Sulaimanyah-based Metrography photo agency with help from numerous freelance photographers and financial support from the Ministry of Youth and Culture.
Director of Metrography and organizer of the event Kamaran Najm said: “We wanted to shine the light on the environment issue. Each photographer through his eye looked at how human beings destroyed their own environment. From there we got the different collections of the photographs.”
Najm said the title of the exhibition is a “way to raise awareness for the people and this will be a message and a calling, like waking up… To wake up to know how you treat your environment and how you keep your identity.
“We don’t want to destroy our lands and our identities. I was interested in doing a story about identity because recently our Kurdish identity has changed and been destroyed and ruined by ourselves.
“A long time ago, people wanted to go climb the mountains to fight Kurds and destroy the lands, but they couldn’t. But now, our people go in to the mountains, they destroy the older generation of the Kurdish houses and build [with] concrete. We just wanted to show how different the changes are in those places.”
The exhibition was born out of a workshop Metrography ran with of the Ministry of Youth and Culture and Halgurd Jundyani, the general director of media at the ministry. Some 25 freelance photographers learned how to tell stories through the medium of photography.
At the end of the workshop, the participants took a trip to the mountains of Rowanduz and surrounding villages, which is where almost all of the exhibited photographs were taken.
Speaking at today’s launch, Jundyani said: “The message we want to tell people is how to respect your own environment. As a government we need to raise awareness. You can see now as new things come in and people get richer, people don’t know how to act. They throw the new stuff everywhere.”
The exhibition has already started going mobile around villages in Iraq as part of a plan to encourage young people to take up photography.
Metrography, which was founded in 2009, is the first Iraqi photography agency covering all 18 of Iraq’s governorates. The agency sells photos but also has an educational arm to its work.
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