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The Foundation Project /  پڕۆژەی بناغە

The Foundation Project, grounded in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, engages with art and artists because, in Iraq, the field of Fine Arts constitutes a particularly charged space in Kurdish society and artists stand at the frontlines of several critical conflicts. Building upon the foundations of my own scholarly work in art and conflict in Iraqi Kurdistan, my husband, Meriwan Abdullah and I have come together in order to create the Foundation Project.

The Foundation Project addresses the need to 1) expand first-hand, ethnographic research with contemporary Kurdish artists in Iraqi Kurdistan that will 2) produce high-quality, accounts for the benefit of all and that which attend to the particulars of individual activist-artists, and their everyday lives, in terms of powers and strategies utilized to navigate and resist political practices while also 3) creating self-sustaining resources to support the livelihood's, professional, and creative endeavors of the artists themselves. 

Over many years, our work has yielded a number of Research Publications that include some of the first, first-hand accounts of the work of Kurdish artist-activists in Iraq who are effecting change in their region. Access list of publications HERE.


Our Goal is to expand our current research about contemporary Kurdish art in Iraq, build strategic partnerships with patrons and art scholars, create opportunities for artists and elevate our research impact and reputation internationally. At this time, we are directly supporting work in Iraqi Kurdistan including:

  • 2021 - Funding of the website for the Zherzemin Project. Access the Zherzemin art show catalog HERE.

  • 2022 - Funding of the catalog for the art show " پێکەوە بە تەنها" ("Together Alone").

We are seeking financial support for continued research, including but not limited to support for international travel, translation services, support for writing of publications, small stipends for artists and small seed grants for art shows. We also seek support to expand our network of artists, arts patrons, and arts scholars willing to collaborate with this work. 

Thank you for your kind consideration of our project. If you are interested in supporting The Foundation Project please contact Dr. Autumn Cockrell-Abdullah at

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