In Haparanda artist Rawaa Khiyachi who fled the war in Syria have been able to paint with the help of the City of Culture. She has borrowed a room at the People’s House in Haparanda, and right now she is busy processing refuge in his paintings.
Samples from culture reportage Nålsögat – cultural encounters on the border
Rawaa do not like to talk about their paintings, but talks about the blue painting is about the escape of the sea from Turkey to Greece. It is a dense tangle of pipes, tubes, arms, eyes, heads twisted and turned. Matted as a sort of big ball or a cloud above the bow of the dinghy.
-This should reflect the panic when we fled by boat, reflect that for a while feel a part of the water in the sea, says Rawaa Khiyachi.
Her style is surreal and often deal with the situation of women and lack of freedom.
Before the war, she could paint like she wanted . But lately she has received threats from extreme Islamists that she must stop painting surreal and so much naked.
I was incredibly scared as soon as someone said something, it was when there was beheadings too. According to them this extreme groups, it is forbidden to paint, especially as a woman. Then was it also because I do not wear traditional clothes, I do not have a veil on me, says Rawaa. You can not force people to wear what they do not want.
She says that when she was young and began painting she dared not at first break with tradition. But surrealism became a way to break with cultural tradition, to find their own way of painting.
-To painting is my way to escape from reality, says Rawaa Khiyachi. But maybe the reality will come out while I paint.
Hear more about Rawaa Khiyachi and other people in Haparanda in Culture Reporter in P1 today at 14:03: “Nålsögat – cultural encounters on the border between Haparanda and Tornio.”