Kaniwar Zidan

20 January 2015

Kaniwar Zidan, born 1984 in al-Qamishli, has come a long way since his beginnings under a pseudonym in Shakhabit. The Syrian-Kurdish artist started with a pencil but soon moved to digital art in his caricatures.

His drawings poke fun at both the tyranny of Bashar al-Assad's regime, as well as issues relating specifically to his own Kurdish community. In a series of works titled "Conscription", Zidan sheds light on the forced conscription of Kurdish youth in the PYD forces, and specifically on the recruitment of school-children to fight in the Kurdish militias.


The artist is also vocal in his critique of the terror of ISIS. His depiction of the terror group as the other side of the same coin as Assad is clear in many of his works, as well as its role in the tragedy of Kobane.


"I don't consider myself an artist," he says, "my only concern was to break the wall of fear from the dictator, and to scandalise the crimes committed against Syrians... through drawings, a humble blog and my social media presence."


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad