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Kurdistan, In the Shadow of History

Kurdistan, In the Shadow of History, was the inspiration for this site. The book traces the history of the Kurds by presenting photographs and accounts by colonial administrators, anthropologists, missionaries, journalists, and others who have traveled to Kurdistan over the last century. The book's mode of organization is influenced by collage, and its environment juxtaposes different orders of historiographic evidence.

Pictures, personal memoirs, government reports, letters, advertisements, maps, etc. all vie with each other and present different constructs. The reader discovers the voices of the Kurds that contest the Western representations of them.

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Kurdistan, In the Shadow of History
The Author, Susan Meiselas
Kurdistan,In the Shadow of History

Susan Meiselas is an award winning documentary photographer best known for her work in Central America. In 1978, Meiselas received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for "outstanding courage and reporting" for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua that same year. In 1992 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Her photographs have been published worldwide in the pages of Time, The New York Times, Paris Match and Life. She is the author of two monographs, Carnival Strippers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976) and Nicaragua, 2nd edition (Aperture, 2008); as well as Encounters with the Dani (Steidl, 2003) and In History (ICP/Steidl, 2008). She is the editor of Learn to See (Polaroid Foundation, 1975), El Salvador: Work of 30 Photographers (Writers & Readers,1983), and Chile From Within (W.W. Norton, 1990). Meiselas is a member of Magnum Photos and lives in New York City.

Martin van Bruinessen

Martin van Bruinessen is a Dutch anthropologist who has done extensive fieldwork in the Turkish, Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian parts of Kurdistan, as well as in Indonesia. He is considered to be the leading expert on Kurdish society and has published widely on various aspects of Kurdish history.

His major works in English are Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan (Zed Books, 1992) and the historical study Evliya Celebi in Diyarbekir. He is currently a professor at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.