Artist Focus 25: Jasim Ghafur

6 October, 2013

Jasim Ghafur was born in Tawela, South Kurdistan (Iraq) where he worked as an art teacher in primary and secondary schools and in colleges until 2000. He is a founding member of the Socialist Artist Association, Teacher’s Organisation and Children’s Right Protection Centre in Kurdistan. In 2000, he left Kurdistan and came to the UK as a political refugee.

Jasim then went on to study and graduate in Fine Art from the University of Derby and completed a Masters in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in 2011. He continued the work he started in Kurdistan in England and became a founding member of art group Traveling light and Long Journey Home. He recently created the BlankAtlas Artist Collective, a visual arts group based in Nottingham, whose members also include Frequency 13 artists Hawre Pshko and Emma Dex Dexter. Jasim has exhibited his work nationally and internationally.

Now and There

Now and There aims to project Jasim’s earlier understanding and the symbolic elements attached to the word “Revolution”. He explores how it passed to dream that societies lived and acted with the thought of revolution at heart. Jasim has produced a video work using archived images of the people, places and locations that form a large space of his memories and of the dream of revolution; in order to communicate his nostalgic attachments to the excitement that was generated in response to revolution in the past. His video projection work sees himself performing in archived images using very minimal movements.

For Jasim, revolution carries a very controversial and conflicting meaning, as it has been looked at and translated by many different social and political groups with very different agendas and goals. The word revolution has been chanted throughout many generations, implanting hope in the heart of humanity that soon, the darkness will be replaced with the sunshine of love and peace.

Revolution has always sounded beautiful and positive for me, like a flame in the darkness, like an appearance of a star in a gray covered sky, and like a flower growing in a thirsty and dry land. I always perceived the word and the concept as a real translation of hope beyond the infectious life within the system of oppression and discrimination that governs us today. – Jasim Ghafur


Now and There will be premiering at Frequency Festival 13 at Lincoln Drill Hall

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