Exhibition: We Came Frome Fire: Kurdistans Armed Struggle Against ISIS.

We Came Frome Fire: Kurdistans Armed Struggle Against ISIS

Joey L.

The We Came From Fire portrait series was created during 5 trips embedded in the chaos of the Iraq and Syrian war. The images provide a deeply personal and humanizing view of the conflict. Lawrence’s portraits are first and foremost an ethnographic study, highlighting Kurdish fighters as defenders of a distinct way of life, as well as the civilians caught between warring parties.


“We came from fire, and we will return to fire”: This ancient Kurdish proverb has been kept alive with the oral tradition of an endangered language-spoken in the privacy of the family home away from the watchful eyes of rulers and regimes, or sung in the mountains by dissident poets and rebels.


The ancient homeland of the Kurds, an ethnic minority of forty million people, is carved up across the modern-day borders of Turkey, Syria Iraq, and Iran. The culturally distinct Kurdish people found themselves forcibly assimilated into the fabric of ethno-nationalistic states, their language banned, and persecuted as second class citizens.


Oppression by state powers led generations of Kurds to abandon fruitless politics and embrace armed struggle. This gave thousands of Kurds military and political experience against better-equipped enemies, yet a full, lasting independence recognized by the international community has not yet been achieved.


The statistics flooding our daily news cycle rarely capture the personal convictions that can turn the tide of the war. These portraits are the human faces at the heart of the conflict.


Exhibition Content
50 Color Photographs, plus 2 documentary videos
AvailabilityLinear FeetShipping InfoRental Fee
Fall 2020+/- 196 (no spacing)TBDPlease inquire
Venues »InstitutionLocationDates
 AmnasurakaSulaymaniyah, Iraq  November 2019