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Hiwa K in "Berlin"

Hiwa K questions his role as an artist within the ever-shifting political landscapes in Europe and the Middle East. From the celebrated Documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany, to a performance in an Amsterdam boxing gym, to a musical intervention at a protest in Iraq, the sculptures, videos, and performances by the Iraqi-Kurdish artist slyly mix his biography with the larger story of migration and East-West relations in Europe.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Hiwa K

Hiwa K was born in Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, Iraq, in 1975. His sculptures, videos, and performances slyly weave together anecdotes from friends and family members with his biography. As a Kurdish Iraqi and immigrant to Germany, Hiwa K draws from personal memories to tell stories of our ongoing global crises: war, migration, and the effects of neoliberalism and colonialism. Documenting with video, the artist inserts himself into his works, which often involve participatory dimensions (such as group cooking classes, musical performances, and political protests) and collaborations with a wide cast of players, from Iraqi philosophers to Venetian metal casters. Largely self-taught, his multidisciplinary approach draws upon his peer-to-peer education in Iraq as well as his musical training under the Flamenco master, Paco Peña.

“Very often, people say I’m based in Berlin. I’m never based. I’m based on my feet.”

Hiwa K