Disagreements Increased Her Painting’s Price

February 26, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Kalar, 21-2-2018, the student Sherihan Unis’s painting which was not allowed to be presented in the gallery, photo: exclusive to Kirkuk Now.

The Paintings of Two Fine Arts Students are being Prohibited

Narin Rostam

The paintings of two female students in university were removed after being threatened by ruining them by a few teachers and students in Garmian University, the incident led to controversy in the Social Medias, but on the contrary to the negative desires; the paintings’ prices keep increasing.

Sherihan Unis 21 years old and Fine Arts student in Kifri, is standing in front of her semi-naked painting explains that she never thought her painting will be prohibited among 40 painters and become popular in Kurdistan later on.

Sherihan suddenly hears a noise coming from some teachers and students who are yelling “take these paintings away or we will destroy them”, Sherihan said that “I was shocked because they were saying inappropriate things, so I had to remove my painting before they destroy it”.

I believe culture is the main responsible party for the disaster that faces art and artists, it is not reasonable to disallow art because of the pressure of a few teachers and students!”

The gallery was opened in Garmian University in Sulaimani Governorate on 21.2.2018 where 40 artists participated, but four paintings were withdrawn.

Berivan Muhammad 22 years old came from the same college as Sherihan, participated with a number of paintings, and she faced the same threats.

“My painting is called “sorrow” which is basically Van Gogh’s painting; the story is about a naked lady who hides her face in her arms. That painting resembles the pain and hardships of an elderly prostitute”, this is how Berivan described her forbidden painting to Kirkuk Now.

The teachers and the students described the paintings as “inappropriate and far away from customs and traditions” and those who are in charged in Garmian University decided to remove the paintings after the threats.

Kalar, 21-2-2018, student Berivan Muhammad with her two paintings which were prohibited to be presented in the gallery, photo: exclusive to Kirkuk Now


The artist Rostam Aghala criticized Garmian University’s decision and told Kirkuk Now “This incident inside the university revealed to us that it is too early for art to be accepted, it is true that the paintings are not in high quality and are copied, but our problem is with the mentality of those who reject art under the name of religion, culture, and traditions, while art is in need of none of these”.

After the expansion of the disagreements, the paintings were put in an auction. The Presidency of Garmian University gives an explanation on 25.2 and says: “what happened was confusion and misunderstanding from some students who disapproved some paintings which were contradictory with their beliefs and traditions, so they asked for the paintings to be removed, and the gallery continued”.

The Presidency of Garmian University did not mention anything about the teachers who were the reason behind eliminating the paintings, but the two female students confirm that some teachers were also against their paintings.

furthermore, the University’s Presidency did not refer to question those who were the reason behind excluding the paintings, and they told Kirkuk Now that they have nothing more to say than what they have explained.

The Presidency of the University believes that the subject was misled and claims “that behavior does not express the university’s opinion; it merely expresses those who quarreled about the paintings”.

Berivan states that “our problem is that Garmian University had no serious stand, and they fell under the influence of some teachers and students who don’t even know what art is!”

In the last five days, the paintings, especially Sherihan’s painting were published and reposted on Face book pages and accounts as a support to arts, and they were put in an auction against the University of Garmian’s decision.

Kalar, 21-2-2018, 40 young artists gallery in Garmian University , photo: exclusive to Kirkuk Now


On Monday 26.2 Sherihan’s photo reached 4000 US dollars, which was absolutely unexpected by her.

Sherihan and Berivan are both from Kifri province, which is one of the disputed areas between Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and they are colleagues from college.

There are other stories from the past few years in Kurdistan Region about prohibiting arts, in 2015 for instance, the fine arts’ dean in Erbil decided to destroy a number of statues in the college claiming that they are against culture and religion.

Kurdistan Region’s general prosecutor took legal actions against author/university teacher (Dr. Farhad Pirbal) for publishing a historical book claiming that the author used inappropriate pictures in his book.

Farhang Gomashini the Spokesman of Ministry of Culture spoke to Kirkuk Now: “We function by the law, when someone’s art is being disrespected, s/he should file a lawsuit or inform us about their problem, so that we can look into their cases”.

They Ministry of Culture had no stand on the incident so far, arguing that they had no information about the event, while it is widely talked about in public.


Photo Gallery

Print This Post Print This Post