Zagros Manuchar Medya 9.8.–1.9.2024

Hippolyte Studio

Zagros Manuchar’s exhibition, Medya, at Hippolyte Studios, portrays a Kurdish woman of Syrian descent. The exhibition will also premiere a new experimental video work by Manuchar. This short film uses Medya’s real diaries, poems, and photographs to create a documentary narrative depicting her childhood games, memories, lost friends, schooling, and her neighbour’s children. It is a story of childhood, dreams, and aspirations amidst war and persecution.

Medya continues the themes presented in Manuchar’s previous film, The Scent of Apples,  featured in the Nuoret 2023 exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki. This work addresses the 1988 massacre of the Kurdish village in the city of Halabja and the fate of a 17-year-old Kurdish girl named Amira, who suffered from respiratory difficulties caused by the gas attacks. War, trauma, and health issues persist in these people for a long time, and those who have fled the war often have to undertake significant efforts to feel safe and achieve harmony with their bodies. Manuchar has also explored the experiences of Kurdish refugees in his work Whispers, featured in the exhibition Destination at the Lahti Museum of Visual Arts Malva. This work portrays three war refugees and their experiences and memories through photographs. Refugees often have to destroy their family photos for safety reasons when fleeing, and the few surviving pictures are precious to their owners.

The artist addresses the violence of war as well as the diverse experiences of women and children during wartime. Manuchar works closely with his subjects, incorporating their memories, youth poems, composed songs, family albums, and photographs into his pieces. It is important to him that the subjects are not merely portrayed as refugees whose traumas are displayed, but as independent agents and survivors who actively participate in constructing their portraits. Manuchar spent over a year conversing with Medya before filming to find a close and respectful approach to the portrayal. The work is personal for the artist, as he came to Finland as a UN war refugee at the age of four and was born in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Zagros Manuchar
(b. 1990, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq) is a filmmaker and artist who has addressed themes of war and children’s human rights in his cinematic works. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2022. Manuchar has held solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Finland, including the Nuoret 2023 exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki and the Destination exhibition in 2024 at Malva. His works have also been showcased at international film festivals, exhibitions, and cultural institutes. Additionally, he has published two children’s picture books together with author Leena Parkkinen: Käpykolon väkeä; Syysvieras (The Folk of Pinecone Hollow; Autumn Visitor), in 2023  and Käpykolon väkeä; Yllätysten talvi (The Folk of Pinecone Hollow; Winter of Surprises), in 2024


The exhibition and the artist’s work have been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse, and Kuvasto / VISEK.

 

 

 

Zagros Manuchar
Medya
9 August –  September 2024
Hippolyte Studio

 

image: Zagros Manuchar, Medya, 2024