The Amna Suraka complex is a prison made up of a set of buildings in Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, where Saddam Hussein’s secret service agency, Mukhabarat, detained, tortured and killed thousands of Kurds from 1986 to 1991, the year of his capture operated by the Kurdish military, the Peshmerga.
The parade ground, the prison and torture rooms, all can be visited. The memorial of “The Hall of the 100 Mirrors” can be visited too: it is made up of 182,000 mirror fragments and more than 4000 light bulbs, representing each victim and each destroyed village.
I happened to be visiting Amna Suraka when a group of high school kids were on a tour of the museum. Well dressed, combed, with nice clothes and make-up, they looked exactly like all the teenagers in the world.
Then in the parade ground they pulled out their selfie sticks, and started taking pictures. On the tanks, and then inside the prisons, and the torture rooms.
In that place.
The images are strong and incredibly contrasting.
Why a selfie? Is it their way of remembering something that must not be forgotten?
- Where Sulaymaniyah, Iraqui Kurdistan
- When December 2016