Photo: Mark Terry

ArtRole, is an International contemporary arts organisation dedicated to building a cultural bridge between the Middle East and rest of the world facilitating artistic dialogue, exchange and mutual support. It works to establish harmonious connections through the medium of art and art education.

ArtRole was founded in 2004 by British artist of Kurdish-Iraqi origin, Adalet R. Garmiany, Since its inception ArtRole has worked to develop an annual programme of arts activity in UK, US and Iraq including international artist exchanges, artist residencies, exhibitions, performances, presentations, arts festivals and workshops, human rights and environmental conferences.

ArtRole works within the commitment to promote human rights, freedom of speech and communication between genders and diverse communities. It offers innovative ways for cultural diplomacy by using the Arts and Culture as platforms for dialogue and personal expression within and among different communities in Iraq and beyond. All activities support the building of a modern, democratic, creative and multicultural Iraq by developing inter-national and inter-generational collaborations and networks within and between Iraq, Kurdish Regional government (KRG) and other Middle East Regions.

ArtRole engages with women’s issues and encourages the participation of women, by ensuring female artists, students and academics have a real role within the organization and all its activities. ArtRole is also concerned about environmental and regeneration issues in communities of the Region and therefore aims to promote the participation of environmental artists and scientists. ArtRole intends to encourage, develop and support sustainable systems within arts and education projects which will benefit young people, women and communities as well as the country’s cultural infrastructure.

ArtRole intends to communicate the questions, hopes, ambitions and developments which are currently taking place in Iraq to the outside world through Art and Cultural initiatives.

ArtRole’s Key Objectives:

• To make a positive contribution to the cultural, artistic and educational life of the Middle East through establishing a regular programme of cross-cultural arts activiities in the Middle East.

• To provide opportunities for artists to visit the Middle East to develop new work and for artists from the region to travel abroad.

• To provide facilitation tools, resources and materials to learning institutions in the Middle East that enable art education activity

• To raise awareness of environmental and regeneration issues to communities in the Middle East through art and art education.

ArtRole has successfully organised, developed and delivered an artist exchange programme and related educational activities between the UK, America and Iraq- Kurdistan. ArtRole now looks to establish regular art and art education programmes with existing and new partners to widen its remit.

ArtRole is a non-profit organisation.


Partners, Collaborators and Supporters:
Visiting Arts, Artsadmin, Delfina Foundation, Motiroti, FACT, Foundation For Art and Creative Technology, LADA “Live Art Development Agency”, Serpentine Gallery, SOAS “School for Oriental and Asian Studies” University of London, Royal College of Art, Slade School of Art International Culture Arts Network, Northern Ireland, the Jameel Prize, NRLA, National Review of Live Art, Glasgow,

Caspian Foundation, Asia House, United Kingdom.
Theatre Without Border, Leventine Cultural Center, Out Post for Contemporary Art, TCG Theatre Communication Group, NYC, Georgetown University DC, in U.S.A. ETTC, European Technology & Training Centre, DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service, the Morgenland music Festival, The dOCUMENTA 13, Garmiany, The Institut français, France

Kvinna till Kvinna, Women’s Empowerment Project, Sweden, Vienna Arts Week & Hinterland Gallery, Austria, the Future Generation Arts Prize, Ukraine, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Italy, the Freedom to Create Prize, Singapore. Kurdistan University, College & Institute of Fine Arts Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Babylon, Attitudes S.A.C. Baghdad, Iraqi Embassy in United Kingdom, Women Empowerment Organization, Salahuddin University, Antiquities of Erbil,

Mearg Gallery, Cihan Art Gallery, WADI for FGM, Red Jail Museum, Sulaymania Museum, Aram Gallery, American University, Gender Studies and Information Centre Organization, in Iraq. Parkingallery Tehran, Iran, PiST/// Idependent Artist Space and Anadolu Kültür, Turkey, Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art Cairo, Egypt, Art Dubai, U.A.E, AllArtNow Organization, Syria, Ashkal Alwan, Lebanon, ArtSchool, & Qattan Foundation “funds/develops cultural activity and Ashtar Theatre in Palestine”