Latif Al Ani posing with his camera in Iraq in the center section, bordered by two sections with text overlay saying "Through the Lens: Latif Al Ani's Visions of Ancient Iraq November 8, 2023 - February 25, 2024"

Exhibition banner for 'Through the Lens'

Exhibition Lecture: Ancient Iraq

From Hormuzd Rassam's Excavations to Latif Al Ani's Images

Narmin Amin, Abdulrahman K. Darwesh

Salahaddin University–Erbil, Soran University

This lecture will take place online; a Zoom link will be provided via email to registered participants.

Registration is required at THIS LINK.

Through his archaeological excavations, Hormuzd Rassam found the past and greatness of the lost civilization of Mesopotamia in Khorsabad, Nineveh, and Nimrud, which is now present in most of the world’s museums and still arouses astonishment and admiration, proving the truth of history and ancient civilizations. Searching for them was an adventure. While Latif Al-Ani’s pictures are remnants of the beginning of Iraq’s contemporary spirit, the simple life, the daily scenes of the common people, and the prominent archaeological monuments leave an impression on the viewer, and between the different worlds of both, there is a desire and drive to discover and show the roots of beauty and civilization and the prominent and lost worlds of a changed, destroyed, and in a state of Iraq. Instability and fragmentation between the distant past and the recent past, When looking at photos of Latif Al-Ani and moments recorded in him, we feel nostalgic about a past time that is beautiful and simple at the same time. The results of Hormuzd Rassam’s excavations reflect to us, the politics and period of conflicts between world powers that included the field of antiquities and the competition over them between Britain and France, and Hormuzd Rassam was a realistic witness to this competition.

Dr. Narmin Ali Amin, a professor of archeology and history at Salahddin-Erbil University in Iraqi Kurdistan and an associate member of the IFPO of Erbil. She is also an associate member of the Orient and Mediterranean laboratory UMR 1867 CNRS-Paris. She works on the archeology of Christians and minority heritage in Kurdistan from the late antique period to the medieval era. Since 2001, she has been a doctor in archeology and history at the University of Versailles and the first Kurdish and Iraqi woman, specialized in the Christian archaeological field. Considered a looter in archeology in Kurdistan, she participates in French and European archaeological excavation missions. She was rewarded for her work and named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters “Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres“ the French Ministry of Culture in 2016. She worked as an international expert for Christian heritage and for the Amadiya project in Kurdistan with ALIPH and UNESCO. She is very active in the defense of heritage and the conservation of the rich cultures of Kurdistan and Iraq. She has extensive experience in fieldwork on archaeological sites in Kurdistan. She has worked in difficult conditions of war and instability to defend the heritage since 1996: Christian, Yazidis, Jewish, Khaki, and Islamic antiquities of Mesopotamia.

Abdulrahman Karim Darwish, Assist. Prof. in International Studies and Cultural Diversity at the University of Soran - Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and a visiting professor at the University of Dohuk. He works in the field of political studies specializing in cultural diversity, Peace studies in post-conflict societies, and genocide studies. He is interested in studies of religious, national, and cultural minorities and their conditions. Political and cultural studies, genocide prevention studies, and the dangers of wars and conflicts over cultural diversity and their cultural heritage. He also has interests in the field of antiquities related to minorities and is active in the field of defending minorities and their cultural heritage and antiquities. He has many scientific studies in these fields. Member of several civic and scientific institutions, founder of the Genocide Prevention Project, founding member of the Tolerance Without Borders Institute in Erbil, and a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

This lecture is given in conjunction with ISAW's exhibition Through the Lens: Latif Al Ani’s Visions of Ancient Iraq. This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue were made possible by generous support from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust and the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional funding was provided by Joyce F. Menschel and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Tucker.

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