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Hapsa & Harkje, two strong women from east and west

Nivīsevan / Yazan: Yvonne van der Bijl  
Demjmźr / Tarih: 12.11.2013  10:54:14

Hapsa & Harkje, two strong women from east and west





Photography: Yvonne van der Bijl and archives



Text: Yvonne van der Bijl in cooperation with Baban Kirkuki, Performance: Yvonne van der Bijl

This project (performance, book and exhibition) is about two strong women from the east (Kurdistan Iraq) and the west (Friesland Holland). Hapsa and Harkje lived in the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. They encouraged emancipation because they were busy with the situation of women and poor people in society. Both lived in the higher middle class and royal society and had husbands who stimulated them. Women from now owe to this type of women their independence and autonomy.

Hapsa Khan Naqib was born in 1881 in the Kurdish city of Suleymania (Kurdistan KRG Iraq) and belonged to a prominent family. She married Sheikh Qadir who came from a revolutionary family. He was the brother of Sheikh Mahmud who formed in 1920 the first autonomous government of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Hapsa Khan did her best for the progression of the Kurdish woman and she emphasized the importance of education for women. She founded the first organisation for women. Stimulated by her husband she received women in her home and founded the first school for women. After her death in 1953 her house became a school as she wanted this with pleasure. But unfortunately the building does not exist anymore.

Harkje Benthem de Wilde is my grandmother from my mother's side. She was born in 1884 in a labourers family in Tjalleberd, a village in Frisia. She was the only one of the six children who was allowed to follow an education. She became a schoolteacher and at the age of eighteen she began to teach in little villages till she married.

She saw the terrible circumstances of the farmers and became a member of the socialistic labourers party (SDAP).

In 1914 she married Ruurd Benthem, director of the postoffice, also a member of the socialistic labourers party. Harkje became active in the city politics of Schiedam and became the first female alderman of education. During her whole working life she was political active.
After the death of her husband in 1949 she resigned and she moved to her daughter in Utrecht. After her death in 1966 she was honoured with a street in Schiedam: the Harkje Benthempath.

Yvonne van der Bijl, born and bred in Utrecht, is a photographer, publicist, visual artist, performer and world citizen. On her countless travels in Latin America and the Middle East she searches for contact through her lens. Her photography has a documentary character, but can be also seen as visual anthropology. In her projects she tries to connect cultures.
Since 2007 she visited Kurdistan (Iraqi ) regularly.

She makes performances, travel books (text and photography), photo books and expositions. With her Kurdish colleague Parwez Zabihi she made 'Kurdistan, a companion' (Gilgamesh Publishing London), the one and only travel guide about Kurdistan. Another project is 'Kurdbun, in search of the Kurdish identity' (interviews and portraits).www.yvonnevanderbijl.nl

Baban Kirkuki is born in Kirkuk Kurdistan (Iraqi) and was raised in a cultural environment. He studied the Arab language and literature and published his first book of poetry 'Ruine of Babylon' (1998) in Iraq. In 1999 he flew to Holland. He quickly learned the Dutch language and is succesful with his work in Dutch. In 2011 Baban received a CCS Crone scholarship.
In 2006 the poetry book 'On the way to Ararat' came out. Publisher P published in 2009 'Lontananza', in 2011 'Territory' and in 2013 ‘Light unknown’www.babankirkuki.com

Presentations till now:
2012 29 January Artist Confederation Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam
2012  2 February Podium Meer Woorden Meer Kleuren, Kargadoor, Utrecht
2012 23 juni Pindaconcert, a salon voor artlovers, Utrecht
2012 6 t/m 11 November, ArtRole: Women in Action, Erbil, Sulaymani, Kurdistan KRG
2012 28 November Socialistic Party Leiden with poet Baban Kirkuki and musician Monir Goran
2013 16 February Culture Café 11, Suleymani, Kurdistan KRG (Irak)
2013 17 February Chuar Chra Hotel, Erbil,  Kurdistan KRG (Irak), organised by the High Council of Women Affairs and the Kurdistan Linguistic Organisation
2013 23 February Ismail Besekci Foundation Istanbul



Planned:
2013 najaar Historische Vereniging Schiedam
2014 8 maart VVOA International Women’s Day Amersfoort

Books:
Artbook ‘Hapsa & Harkje, two strong women from east and west’ –Yvonne van der Bijl (medium: 20,5 x 15,5 cm)
Artbook ‘Hapsa & Harkje, two strong women from east and west’ –Yvonne van der Bijl (small: 14 x 11 cm)



Yvonne van der Bijl


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