Culture development between Norway and Kurdistan, KUMNOK, is an artistic work for children and young people in Norway and Kurdistan. The project is a collaboration between visual artists, culture school teacher Kwestan Jamal Bawan, visual artist and art teacher Sara Kamal at Shahid Jabar Secondary School, visual arts and art teacher Sakar Faroq at Ahmed Hardy Primary School, Journalist and Author Bakhtyar Saeed and Musician Hersh Omar Raza at the Kurdish Fine Art Society in Sulaymania, Northern Iraq.

Aims and Objectives


KUMNOK KUMNOK works to strengthen cultural understanding between children and young people in Norway and Kurdistan. The countries are geographically very far apart and have very different cultures, but have a related language in art. By using artistic methods and varying themes, the children increase their awareness of other cultures and develop their thoughts and knowledge of a multi-coloured world. The work emphasizes reflection, discussion and exchange of ideas about different topics. In this way, the social skills of each student are strengthened, as well as their understanding of other cultures and people. Structure: The project works parallel in Norway and Kurdistan, but the work is organized by Bergen Cultural School’s visual arts teacher, Kwestan Jamal Bawan. The project is supported by Bergen municipality and Bergen Cultural School, but the artist works also on the project as her own individual art project, investing a lot of resources into it. The project is without a time limit. Method: Artists work, in several ways, with many different inspirational backgrounds. One of the methods is to use music from the different countries as inspiration. For example, the Kurdish / Swedish musician, Heresh Omar Raza, director of the Kurdish Fine Art Society in Sulaymania, northern Iraq, plays for Norwegian students when they improvise and work with visual art expressions. The work and the working process are documented in both countries. Photos are exchanged and displayed in both lands. Children in both countries are thus awakened to expression in their "friendship land". Students meet each other via a big screen/ wall projection using Skype. Acquisition learning is a natural part of the work and reflection in the groups. Outcomes: The children get a better understanding of another culture and increased understanding and respect for cultural diversity in their own environment. Participation in this is important for ethnic Norwegians to interact with other ways of living, thinking, feeling, expression, but also for foreign language students in the groups. Caption: Postcard work done in both countries and exhibited at Azadi Park in Sulimania, Kurdistan in 2017. Students who participated there, pose for the photographer in front of his outdoor exhibition. The project also works in refugee camps in Kurdistan.

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