Theatre and Cultural nationalism: Kurdish Theatre under the Baath, 1975-1991
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I would like to publish papers before my thesis becomes available online.
This dissertation explores the role played by Kurdish theatre in the Kurdish national struggle in Iraq especially between 1975 and 1991. First, it traces the development of Kurdish theatre, within the socio-political context in Iraqi Kurdistan, from its emergence in the 1920s to the defeat of the Kurdish nationalist movement and the fall of the Kurdistan region under the direct Baath rule in 1975. It will then explore the Kurdish resistance theatre during the Baath rule and will analyse the representation of Kurdish nationalist identity in four dramas produced during the Baath rule between 1975 and 1991. By analysing the nationalist themes in the works of Ehmed Salar and Telet Saman, two prominent playwrights and directors of the late 1970s and the duration of the 1980s, I will argue that despite strict censorship during most of this period, theatre played a critical role in the Kurdish national struggle by staging Kurdish history, mythology, folklore, and re-enacting oppressed histories. Along with the thematic analysis of representative dramatic texts from the period and interviews with Kurdish theatre artists, this research draws on Kurdish theatre histories, historical documents, and journalistic accounts, to reveal how theatre participated in the Kurdish national struggle and how it responded to political changes in different historical periods.
PhD in Kurdish Studies