Jamal Penjweny is a Iraqi Kurdish photographer, artist and a filmmaker. Penjweny started as a sculptor and painter in Iraqi Kurdistan. Since 2004, while based in Baghdad, his photographs have reported the Iraqi conflict all over the world and appeared in more than dozen international news publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The National Geographic and The World Press Photo Magazine. Penweny latest works as filmmaker include “The Gun Market and “Another Life”- reporting the life of smugglers and the weapons illegal trade at the border between Iraq and Iran – where Pejnweny was born. Penjweny’s photography series “Iraq is Flying” has been selected and exhibited in United Kingdom, United States, Dubai, New Zealand, Brazil, and China. In 2011, Penjweny was selected by Musée du quai Branly amongst the twenty non- European best artists “Saddam is Here “ has been exhibited at Photoquai, the Paris-hosted photography biennale. In his latest project, “The New Leaders” Penwjeny has report the historical changes engulfing the Middle East region in the aftermath of the popular uprising.

Saddam Is Here
Saddam Is Here Jamal Penjweny 2009- 2010 They support him, they cheered him up, they beautified his cruelty and crimes and they simply put him in power to be a godfather of Iraq for good, but his execution order took place a few years ago. Saddam is here. Iraqi society can not forget him even after his death because some of us still love him and the rest are still afraid of him. People who love him say, because he was handsome, powerful and aggressive. Saddam in the meantime was generous and cruel, he was a good father and he was a criminal. He made Iraqi people to kill and to be killed in the same time. His shadow is still following Iraqi society everywhere.

 Iraq is Flying
  Iraq 2006- 2010
The memories from our childhood still exist, or in another expression, we still carry a bit of the child inside us. Jumping was my dream when I was a child. I wanted to fly through a highest jump to watch my house and the road from the sky and to see the entire city where I was born. It never happened! I had no chance to have a flight by airplane even once in my childhood.
Now! I can see my city and even all Iraq from the tiny window of the airplane, but everything looks different. When I was a child, I used to jump with my friends for joy and happiness. I only dreamt of watching my place from height for no reason. But now! We are flying in a big competition and we all have forgotten the beauty of the games we had in childhood.


Without Soul

As a child I would often draw human figures, landscapes, animals and tanks. Anything I would find around myself. I would do it as any other kid going to the public school. But at home I was told that it is not a right thing to make images of living creatures as it is a work of God, not of the human being. It is so because the one who gives the shape of the being is obliged to give it a soul in the next life. However, by drawing a line against the neck of the represented one can announce to God that he invalidates the image and is not claiming a position of the creator. Today, as someone dealing professionally with representation I return to this moment in my childhood and undertake the gesture of invalidation, by crossing the neck of any represented figure with the red line. In a way it refers to the common telling that the photographer is the one who steals the soul of the photographed.
2011 Jamal Penjweny

New Leaders


  DATE OF BIRTH:01/01/1981
 NATIONALITY: Iraqi / Kurdish 
 LANGUAGE SKILLS: Kurdish, English, Farsi and Arabic.
 CAREER SKILLS:Photographer, Producer, Cameraman, Editor, Sculptor.
 2008- 2009 graduate in the photography institute/ London
 2009- 2010 Reporter for Al Arabiya Channel
 2008- 2010 I work photography for Reuters
 2007- 2009 I work for World News Network
 2001- 2004 I Teaches art and sculptor for children in Kurdistan save children organization.
 I have worked for and published my photos in these newspapers; channel TV, magazines, agencies and websites:
 New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian Newspaper, National Geographic, Human Rights Watch, Bloomberg magazine, Chicago Tribune, Al-Sharql Awsat, World Press photo Magazine, BBC, The Washington Post, Le Xpress, Saudi Aramco World Magazine, World News Network, UNHCR, USA Today, Outdoor Exploration, Informations, Verlag, UNDP, Yahoo News, Zuma Press, Polaris images, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), The national newspaper, Suomen Kuvalehti, Financial Times, Sipa Press, Jeune afrique magazine and Al Arabiya channel etc.


2013 Welcome to Iraq, The Official Pavilion of Iraq at La Biennale di Venezia 2013 is commissioned by Ruya Foundation.

2012 M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, Singapore.
2012 Herbert Art gallery& Museum, Coventry. UK.

2011 Musée du Quai Branly. Paris- France. 

2011 Photo Exhibition at the Chicago Photography Center- USA.

  2011 Iraqi& American Reconciliation Project. USA.

2011 Auckland Festival of Photography. New Zealand.

  2010 International Orange Photo Festival. Chain

2010 In the framework of São Paulo,Contemporary Art-Pole,organized by The São Paulo 29th Biennial in the Brazilian Jewish Cultural Center. Brazil.

 2010 Contemporary Art Iraq RoleArt Exhibition in Manchester UK.

 2009 Solo Art Solo Heart Festival Nottingham New Art Exchange. UK.

 2009 ArtRol Festival Iraqi-Kurdistan.

 2009 Couleurs Cactus Et Le Reel Iraqi Film Festival in Marseille- France.

 2009 Ballarat International Foto Biennale Australia.

 2009 The International Photojournalism Festival of Perpignan-Visa pour l"ImageX France.

 2009 Reel Festival - Bongo Club Edinburgh, UK.

2009 World Photography Masters Cup America.

 2009 New York Photo Festival America.

2009 World Press Photo Festival Netherlands.

 2009 PX3 Prix De La Photographie Paris France.

2009 Zamwa Gallery Exhibition Slemanya, Iraqi-Kurdistan.

 2008 World Press Photo Festival Netherlands.

 2008 National Geography All Roda Young Photography Festival USA.

2006 Caroun Photo Club, First Annual Photography Exhibition Tehran & Iran.

2005 Baghdad Iraqi Memory Organisation Gallery in Green Zone Iraq.
Award/ Qualification:

 2010- Selected for Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo.

2008- Selected for Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo.

 2008- Winner, First Award, VOA

2008- Selected for photography master cup, international color award.

Source:Site Kurdistan ART

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