In April 1991, an international coalition started operation Save Haven in north Iraq.
This was originally intended to be a humanitarian mission, that was an immediate reaction to the exodus of large parts of the Kurdish population. Fearing attacks from Saddam Hussein’s Baathistian government forces, many fled north, towards the Turkish and Iranian border. The missions’ goal was not only to supply nearly 500.000 people, but also to establish a no fight zone, granting sustainable protection for the Kurds.
After years of persecution and repression, the intervention of the coalitions meant nothing less than an unforeseen break in the history of the area, which finally established an autonomous Kurdish region.
Safe Haven focuses on the process of modernization and development in urban spaces, and the role of its multi-ethnic inhabitants who are connected to the occurring changes.
While Iraq as well as its neighbours are descending into chaos of ethnic and religious conflicts, a dazzling Kurdistan comes to being. Amidst the destabilized and the unsettled Middle East, the former Save Haven for Iraqi Kurds is now becoming a destination of hope and confidence that might influence the entire region.
Sebastian Forkarth graduated in photography from Bielefeld and Jerusalem in 2012. He explores how ‘transience’ impacts human identity.
His work focuses on the friction between progress and tradition in developing regions across the globe. His work was exhibited and awarded in Germany as well as internationally.
Exhibition by Delhi Photo Festival.
Oct 30 - Nov 8 2015, IGNCA, New Delhi.