In August 2014, the Yezidi people of the Iraqi town Sinjar suffered one of the greatest human rights atrocities since the beginning of the new millennia.

The Kurdish-speaking religious minority was the target of genocide, the Sinjar Massacre, where thousands of Yezidi men were killed and over 1000 Yezidi women and children were abducted by Daesh, otherwise known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  

More than half of these women and children have not returned and, on a monthly basis, mass graves are found. According to a United Nations report, 5000 Yezidi civilians were killed during the offensive, and thousands more fled through the desert dust to find refuge.

To bring awareness to the atrocity, 25-year-old Iraqi artist Dastan Othman has painted a series Sinjar’s People, Colour and Clay that, at its heart, tries to capture the resilience of human beings in the face of adversity. • Safia Archer

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