Kurdish animator challenges ISIS through sarcastic animation movie

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Kurdish animator Ibrahim Karimi. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Ibrahim Karimi, 32, is the first Kurdish animator from Iran to make a Kurdish anti-ISIS animation movie in order to break their image and to help the fight by the Kurds against ISIS.

In an exclusive interview with ARA News, Karimi: “This is the first Kurdish animation movie against ISIS.”

“I graduated from the electric engineering department, but I’ve later educated myself about animation. I had 15 students in Iran and they are now among the best animators in the country. In 2014, I was candidate for the best Iranian animator, but I didn’t took the price,” he said.

Karimi produced over 5,000 minutes of animation movies in Iran, including advertisement. But eventually he decided to come to the Kurdistan region of Iraq and work for Kurds on animation advertising movies for companies.

Ain anti-ISIS movie was produced in late September 2014, one month after ISIS attacked the Kurdish region of Iraq. Already by then with support of the U.S.-led coalition the Kurdish Peshmerga forces were slowly pushing back ISIS.

In the movie, a Kurdish Peshmerga officer tells an ISIS fighter they will never allow the ISIS radical group to take the ‘holy land of Kurdistan’.

“Since Daesh [ISIS] was recently established, people didn’t know how to mock ISIS. So I decided to make this animation so they can make fun of ISIS, and not of Islam,” he said.

“No one knows me because I am from Iran, so I didn’t get many negative comments or threats,” he said. “Just one person told me to not make jokes of beards. He was a Salafi, and he knew I was doing this, and he told me this as a threat,” he told ARA News.

Furthermore, some were angered by a scene in the movie when the ISIS fighter tries to explode himself while making a sound of a sheep. “These people were not even ISIS, but Salafis. They were angry that instead of Allah Akbar, I used an animal sound, and got negative comments and threats,” he said. “No doubt, I am afraid, not only of ISIS, but also of those who sympathise with ISIS. However, I’ve so far remained anonymous,” he added.

“My main goal with the animation movie was to damage the picture of ISIS,” Karimi said.

“This animation movie is also aimed to support the Kurds, and to show a brave picture of them. In the movie there is a Peshmerga sitting in front of a tank talking to an ISIS militant, while the militant is trying to explode himself, and instead farts,” he said.

The animator told ARA News that he is planning to make another movie about honour killing in Kurdistan.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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