21 Aug 2023 - 21 Oct 2023




London-based filmmaker and photographer Yad Deen and collaborator Renas Babakir are pleased to announce HOME, a new online photo exhibition dedicated to raising funds for one of the most persecuted communities in Iraq: the Yazidis.

Deen has produced a collection of twelve black and white photographs of the Yazidi village of Kocho, one of the most severely impacted villages in Sinjar by the so-called Islamic State’s (IS) genocidal campaign in August 2014. Each photograph in the series is accompanied by an account by Dawd Salim Bashar Loko, a Yazidi guardian of Kocho, and a victim of the genocide.

It is estimated that 12,000 Yazidis were massacred and kidnapped, and as many as 400,000 were forcefully displaced, during the genocidal campaign by the so-called ‘Islamic State’. 2,800 women and children remain in captivity to date. On August 1st, 2023, the U.K. Government joined over 18 governments and international bodies officially recognising the genocide of the Yazidis by the so-called ‘Islamic State’.

The aim of the exhibition is to raise as much funding as possible to support the hundreds of Yazidi families who have returned to Sinjar, to rebuild their destroyed homes, having endured nine years in IDP camps. All proceeds from the sale of each print will go directly to the families through the duo’s implementing partner, Sinjar Academy, a charity that provides educational services in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq, where large populations of Yazidis and other minorities are continuing to recover from the genocide in 2014.

Motivated by his reading of Yazidi leading human rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad’s autobiography, The Last Girl, which details her captivity, enslavement and eventual escape from IS, Deen was determined to visit Kocho and bear witness to the destruction caused by IS. Deen says of his experience and the upcoming exhibition:

“The Yazidi community has been continually persecuted as far as their collective memory serves. Having endured 74 genocides to date, they remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in Iraq. HOME is an effort to help as many of those who have returned to their homes in Sinjar as possible to rebuild what is left from the most recent genocide committed against them, a pattern that the Yazidi community has experienced for centuries.

I did not know what to expect when I arrived in Kocho and was met by Dawd who told me he would walk me through the village. I knew I wanted to document the exterior structure of the school that I came to know from Nadia Murad’s The Last Girl. The photographs taken were motivated by what Dawd was telling me on our walk through the village and its outskirts. I chose to use expired 35mm black and white Fuji film because I did not intend on taking ‘beautiful’ photographs there; I knew that what I would take would invoke an eery nostalgia, and poignancy. What this decision inadvertently resulted in was its connoting the nature of ‘fast news’ where important global topics are often forgotten very quickly in the minds of the public.”

The prints will be available for £300 and the complete series for £3,600 (plus delivery and applicable local taxes). Each print will be in A4 size with the photograph set in the centre in A5, accompanied by a section of Loko’s account printed underneath. Prints will be made in C-Type Fuji Matt on Fuji Crystal archive paper.

Press release from the artist and Sinjar Academy

London, England