Artist and musician Hiwa K was born in Sulaymaniyah, the cultural hub of Iraqi Kurdistan known as home to many Kurdish poets and writers. Leaving his native country before the invasion of 2003, K developed manifold approaches toward vernacular forms of knowledge, modes of encounter and political struggle that are profoundly inspired by personal memories and oral histories. The dislocation from and transformation of the place he used to call home are key aspects in the life and work of Hiwa K. Investigating politic, cultural, historical and economic realities Hiwa K’s works, escape normative aesthetics but give a possibility of another vibration to vernacular forms. Many of his works are characterized by a strong collective and participatory dimension, and have to do with the process of the teaching and learning systems and an insistence on the concept of obtaining knowledge from everyday experience rather than doctrine. The repository of his references consists of stories told by family members and friends, found situations as well as everyday forms that are the products of pragmatics and necessity.


With “My Father’s Color Period”, K delivers a poetic and touching reflection about how the technical characteristics of the film medium have the ability to carry sensitive desires beyond the information they convey, and how human consciousness aims to interact with it.

A rumor spread in 1979 that the state-owned television station would show a film in color despite the fact that most televisions were black and white. Unlike in cities with Arab inhabitants, the majority of the people in the Kurdish area of Iraq still didn’t have color TV sets.

Therefore, K’s father decided to cut a sheet of colored cellophane and stick it on the screen of our TV at home. It stayed a whole week until he switched it to another color. Later he began dividing the screen in two, three, or four sections with a different color in each area.


Hiwa K was involved in various collective exhibitions such as Documenta 14, La Triennale in Paris and the “Edgware Road Project” at the Serpentine Gallery in London. His Chicago Boys While We Were Singing They Were Dreaming project is continuously hosted by important international institutions, such as Alternativa Festival in Gdansk,the CASCO in Utrecht, the Serpentine Gallery in London, New Museum/ NYC, MACRO/Rome, MuHKA and MUSAC in León. , he participated in the VII edition of Manifesta curated by Raqs Media Collective, New Museum in NY and Venice Biennale 2015.