2. Three generations
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
30 x 21 cm
4/5 editions (+ AP)
Three generations of Yazidi men in the holy city of Lalish.
In August 2014, ISIL swept across north western Iraq. Without warning, Kurdish Peshmerga forces who were holding the line in front of the city of Sinjar were ordered to redeploy by their commanders. Fighters from ISIL exploited this redeployment, entering and capturing a lightly defended Sinjar. US airstrikes and ground actions by Kurdish forces such the the PKK and YPG enabled 50,000 locals to flee on the Mt Sinjar. Many then continued onto the Yazidi holy city of Lalish seeking refuge from the genocide that was unfolding.
The Yazidis of Sinjar were given the choice to convert to the ISIL version of Islam or be executed. Many converted in duress but approximately 5000 men and boys were systemically executed. ISIL abducted 6500 women and children as 'wives' or sex slaves for fighters. During my visit to Lalish, abducted women had begun to be rescued and returned to their Yazidi communities. The process of returning to their communities involved the burning of their clothes and a ritual purifying bath.