Yazidi woman's experiences under ISIS captivity embodied in her art


Yazidi woman is using her artistic talents to show the world the atrocities and crimes committed by ISIS on her community.

Mariam Marwan, a young Yazidi girl passionate about art, wants to convey the tragedy and the suffering of her community through paintings. She spends hours every day in her studio transforming the suffering of Yazidis into works of art.

“After the survival of our Yazidi girls, I saw them in very poor conditions. I went to them and asked them to talk about what had happened to them at the hands of ISIS militants. Then I turned their stories into paintings to inform the world of the magnitude of the tragedy suffered by Yazidi girls”, explains Mariam.

The pain endured by so many of her neighbours and members of her community has driven her to retell these tragic stories across the world. She has taken part in a number of art exhibitions in different continents and countries as well as within Iraq itself.

The Yazidi community in Iraq suffered from one of the most horrific atrocities to have been committed in modern history. When ISIS militants were carrying out their murderous military campaign in northern Iraq in the summer of 2014, they made it their primary aim to cleanse the region of its minority population.

In August 2014, ISIS occupied the city of Sinjar, home to the largest Yazidi community in the world. The terrorist group subsequently inflicted untold harm on the people of Sinjar. ISIS massacred thousands of men boys and enslaved thousands of women and girls. Yazidi women were treated as property by the terrorists who would regularly abuse and humiliate them. Thousands of captives remain missing with most believed to be either killed of still under captivity.

The horrors endured by the Yazidi captives during the dark days under ISIS can never fully be comprehended by ordinary people. However, these victims have to live with their traumatic experiences for the rest of their lives.