My name is Ahmad Najm. I´m originally from Kirkuk, but I have been living in Sulaymaniya since 1991. Even though I am living in another city, I still feel very connected to the city that I was born in. I´m following the daily news of the whole situation in Kirkuk carefully, and during the election period my eyes caught something that really touched me deeply. On their way to a polling station, a woman with a couple of young children passed by a block of security walls. The look on their faces showed a combination of fear and surprise at the security situation. The walls did not exist before the elections. I realized how negative the impact the security situation has on the children and how many scary scenes Kirkuk has for them. I wondered what will be the long-term effect on their mind while growing up. This made me want to change something in their life to give them another, a more hopeful point of view on their city and their life.
To bring the different groups in Kirkuk closer to each other is the overall aim of the Peace project.
The project will have different stages. This proposal will focus on the first phase. In this phase we want to make Kirkuk look more colourful and peaceful. Now in Kirkuk, concrete security walls dominate the view in the city. By making those walls look nicer, people, especially children, will be reminded less about the tensed situation where the city is in.
For this project phase, which will last for one year, we will transfer a number security walls in a piece of art. Some will be painted by famous artists from Kirkuk. Every month, a different group of painters from the city and surrounding villages will create a new piece of art out of those walls.
The walls near to schools will be painted by children of that school. In small groups, accompanied by artists, they will make their art work on the walls.
The other half of the walls will be for writers and poets from the city and surrounding villages to write a sentence about peace, loving each other and reconciliation.
There are many artists in Kirkuk that have been writing or painting about the connection between Kurdish, Arab and Turkman people. This are the artists we would like to involve in the project. There could also be a cooperation with the Kirkuk University.
The project coordinator will work on promoting the project through different media outlets. Metrography, the first Iraqi photo Agency will be a partner in this process.