Bareez Majid works in the fields of Memory Studies and Kurdish Studies. Her current research, which is funded by the NWO-project PhDs in Humanities, is driven by the question of how the post-conflict community of Iraqi Kurdistan has dealt, and is still dealing with, its traumatic past after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Leiden Arts in Society blog
Fields of interest
- Memory practices and identity in (post-)conflict societies
- Kurdish contemporary art and literature
- Trauma and reconciliation
- Memory museums and its politics
- Gender and nationalism
Description of my research
My research explores the role that is assigned to and constructed by sites of remembering, so-called ‘memory museums’, that (re)present recent traumatic events. This exploration is driven by the following questions: Do these sites embed suffering in a politically driven framework, legitimizing ideological claims on autonomy and self-governance? Or do they create a space to explore traumatic aspects of the past, helping the local community to come to terms with its troubled history?
I argue that both aspects can be observed in two sites that commemorate traumatic events in the Kurdistan Region: (1) The Halabjah Monument and Peace Museum, built to preserve the memory of the victims of chemical attacks on the town of Halabjah, and; (2) Amna Suraka, a museum in a former political prison constructed under Saddam’s regime, paying tribute to the suffering of its ex-detainees. This analysis is developed by way of field research, combined with academic analyses of trauma, conflict, and art theory. Since memory is an extremely politicized phenomenon in this society, interdisciplinary research is essential. Hence, my research is formed by a combination of different disciplines including critical theory, art theory, history, anthropology, psychology, museology, and literary studies.
- Prof. dr. A. Visser
- Prof. dr. S.P.M. Bussels
- Dr. S.A. Polak
PhD Candidate, LUCAS, Leiden University
ReMA, cum laude, Middle Eastern Studies, Leiden University
BA, Literary Studies, VU University
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
October 2014-January 2015
Fieldwork Iraqi Kurdistan
Fieldwork Iraqi Kurdistan
Coordinator, ‘Global Memory Practices’ (BA)
Guest lecturer, ‘Cultural Memory of War and Conflict’ (BA)
Grands & awards
PhDs in Humanities, NWO
Visions on Peace Thesis Award, De Vredeswetenschappen
Volkskrant-IISG Thesis Award
Nominated for the ECHO-Foundation Award
September 2014-January 2015
Researcher Amna Suraka, Sulaymaniyah. Funded by Curatorenfonds, LUF Internationaal Studiefonds, Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude, Het Vreedefonds.
Majid B. (2018) ‘Afrekening met het verleden? Verkiezingen in de Koerdische Autonome Regio.’ In Atlantisch perspectief 42 nr. 2 (page 16-19).
Majid B. (2016) ‘De complexiteit van het herdenken van oorlog.’ In ZemZem Tijdschrift over het Midden-Oosten, Noord-Afrika en islam. nr. 1.
No relevant ancillary activities