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Genocidal Captivity: The Testimony of Yezidi Women Survivors


22 May 2024, 5:00pm




Free - donations welcome

3 August 2024 marks ten years since Islamic State forces invaded the Sinjar region in norther Iraq, and perpetrated genocide against the Yezidi population. This talk will provide a historical overview of the Yezidi genocide, anchoring the narrative in testimonies gathered in Iraq in 2023 from Yezidi survivors who managed to escape ISIS captivity. It will discuss the importance of survivors’ testimony in allowing us to understand the motives of the perpetrators and the experience of captivity, and explore some of the difficulties of gathering oral histories in such a context. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the difficulties faced by the displaced Yezidis today.

This talk is based on research currently on display in an exhibition entitled Genocidal Captivity: Retelling the Stories of Armenian and Yezidi Women, at the Wiener Holocaust Library, London, 21 February-31 May.

Rebecca Jinks is a historian of comparative genocide and humanitarianism. Her first book, Representing Genocide: The Holocaust as Paradigm? (2016) examines the ways in which Holocaust representations have influenced representations of other genocides. Her current project explores women’s experiences during the Armenian and Yezidi genocides, and humanitarian responses in the aftermath.