Photo exhibit on Kurdish rebels opens Saturday night

Local photojournalist Mark West is hosting the opening of his exhibit on Kurdish PKK rebels in Iraq and Turkey Saturday night in Smithers.

A girl in northern Iraq.

A girl in northern Iraq.

In 1993, local photojournalist Mark West spent 4 months living with the PKK as they travelled between their training camps in Northern Iraq and the battle grounds of South-Eastern Turkey.

During this incredible journey, often under threat of ground and air attack, Mark shot over 100 colour and black and white films depicting an intimate portrait of a people fighting for a land to call their own.

Considered by some to be terrorists, Mark set out to uncover the story behind the faces he had seen in the news in the wake of the second Gulf War. What he found was not an extremist left wing organisation, but a people deeply rooted in their cultural traditions and a determination to reinstate Kurdistan as their own autonomous homeland, a conflict which continues to this day.

No Small Country is the result of this work, a remarkable portrait which provides an insight into a world rarely seen nor understood by outsiders.

Smithers-based writer Morgan Hite intertwines Mark’s story within a historical and contemporary political context which begins in a safe house in Iraq, through the war torn mountains of Kurdistan to his eventual arrest and expulsion from Turkey.

The exhibition kicks off at Lalazar Café in Smithers with an opening reception on Feb. 25 from 7-9 p.m. The exhibition runs until March 4.

For full exhibition details including text and pictures visit markwestphotographer.wordpress.com.

– Submitted article.