Irkalla is a visual artist, performance artist, women’s right activist, and a mother of two. She was born in the predominantly Yazidi region of Sinjar in northern Iraq. She started her life as an artist in 2017. The same year, she left her country for Europe to protect her daughters and her art from those who were opposed to her as an artist and woman. Her work is centered around the body and the dangers it experiences on a daily basis.

In her previous work, Irkalla aimed at showing the violence that Yazidi women have been facing. For this project presented in the framework of In Ex(ile) Lab, she would like to create a performance with a focus on joy, and how Yazidi women, despite the historical violence targeting their bodies, still manage to celebrate them with dances. She would like to invite the audience to join her in Dîlana Milan, the Yazidi line dance that brings community together through joy and celebration. She will explore the use of songs from the Tew Tew Archive, a Yazidi oral traditions archive that was made by a group of young Yazidi women and men. Her goal is to celebrate the work of her fellow Yazidi women on preserving their endangered culture.