About the Venue
The Post War Festival is taking place at Saddam Hussein’s Red Jail – a vast 3000 square metres cinderblock complex of cells once used by the Ba’ath regime to incarcerate, torture and murder Kurds. The building has been turned into a museum and gallery to preserve and display Kurdish cultural history. The torture chambers and solitary confinement cells in this ‘red’ compound have earned their name by virtue of the red paint that coats the facade of the buildings.
Artrole’s visit to the Red Jail, March 2009
Visiting the museum is like entering army barracks from Saddam’s bygone era; walls are lined with tanks, armored vehicles and various types of artillery evoking the days when this fortress was monitored and surrounded by a powerful and brutal security force. Saddam Hussein made a point of photographing his victims and there are many images taken during torture and just before execution, as well as photographs taken by Sulaymaniyah citizens during Kurdistan’s 1991 uprising against Saddam.
Beatings and shock treatment were used torture victims, sometimes over a period of many months – children often being tortured to extract information from their parents.
This website contains accounts of victims who spent time in the red jail