art with former isis slaves | kurdistan

Three years ago ISIS took control of Sinjar in Northern Iraq and abducted and enslaved over 6,000 Yezidi women and children. Iraqi officials estimate that 3,410 Yezidis still remain in captivity or are unaccounted for.

For two weeks in July - August 2017 Hannah travelled to Northern Iraq to teach eight Yezidi women, who escaped ISIS captivity, how to paint their portraits. It was the first time in their lives they have drawn or painted before. These paintings convey their dignity, resilience and unspeakable grief. 


Hannah spoke at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference about her art project with Yezidi women:



In April 2016 Hannah returned to Jordan to organise an art project with Syrian refugees living in Azraq and Za'atari refugee camps, with the support of Relief International.



AMMAN 2014

" After hearing refugees’ stories on a visit to Jordan last year, UK artist Hannah Rose Thomas came up with the innovative idea of recycling old UNHCR tents as a canvas for refugees to express themselves. ... The results have been so powerful that the tents are now set to be exhibited in locations across the world. " UNHCR spokesperson

In 2014 Hannah worked for UNHCR as creative director for an exhibition of art projects with refugees to commemorate World Refugee Day.

The goal was to turn the symbols of loss and displacement - the refugee tents - into beautiful pieces of artwork, in order to raise awareness for the plight of refugees.

 To read a UNHCR article on the art project click here