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Bareez Majid


Dr. B. Majid Ph.D.
+31 71 527 5154

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.

More information about Bareez Majid

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.

PhD supervisors

  • Prof. dr. A. Visser 
  • Prof. dr. S.P.M. Bussels
  • Dr. S.A. Polak

Academic degrees


PhD Candidate, LUCAS, Leiden University


ReMA, cum laude, Middle Eastern Studies, Leiden University


BA, Literary Studies, VU University

Research Stays

June-July 2014

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

October 2014-January 2015

Fieldwork Iraqi Kurdistan

March-May 2018

Fieldwork Iraqi Kurdistan

Teaching activities

Coordinator, ‘Global Memory Practices’ (BA) 
Guest lecturer, ‘Cultural Memory of War and Conflict’ (BA) 

Grands & awards


PhDs in Humanities, NWO

December 2015

Visions on Peace Thesis Award, De Vredeswetenschappen
Volkskrant-IISG Thesis Award

May 2015

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.


Key publications

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. 



  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden


No relevant ancillary activities

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