Statement by Zelah Latteef (Art & Design Director LKFF)

 
"I had the pleasure of being assigned the creative responsibility in developing this years poster and visual design for the first online edition of LKFF. The aim of my design is to express the various themes that will be showcased within the programme of films this year. I decided to highlight the topics of displacement and struggles present in the stories about the Kurdish people. The beginning of 2018 saw the invasion of Afrin, west Kurdistan, which resulted in the displacement of thousands of people. The Yazidis who underwent genocide by ISIS, are still displaced, surviving in camps with seemingly no hope in sight. Poverty has led many Kurdish people to smuggle on the dangerous borders for their survival which comes with fatal repercussions. I decided to conceptualise these issues within my design. 
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However, the Kurdish people should not be defined only with these sufferings, which is why the focal point of my poster is of the Kurdish woman, inspired by the Kurdish women's resistance. The poster portrays a woman who carries the Kurdish landscape and the pain of her people on her shoulders. This is shown with the two Kolbars walking through the mountains. She is looking in the direction of the wind that is blowing the leaves of an olive tree in the air. This is a symbol of the peaceful days of Afrin. The four bluebirds situated on the lines, are a representation of hope and happiness in many cultures yet I have deliberately coloured them in an ashy black tone that conveys the isolation and division of the four parts of Kurdistan. The lines representing the borders that divide us. Resistance amongst the Kurdish people come in many forms and is also expressed through culture. Like many others, my grandmother conveyed this by always wearing traditional jewellery like the Mexak, a Kurdish necklace made of cloves that surrounded her body with a warm, spicy scent. Taking care of oneself is also an act of resistance and I wished to show this in the traditional Kurdish clothing of the woman in this poster. 
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My design does symbolise the dark sides of the struggles and sufferings but this is why I purposefully chose a warm colour palette to also represent the many other beautiful and strong aspects of the Kurdish people. This year the 11th London Kurdish Film Festival is an Online Edition. Despite all the challenges faced, LKFF is a festival that represents peace, happiness, and resistance and so with this poster and visual designs, so have I."
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