ERBIL — Renowned Kurdish singer Aynur Dogan was announced the recipient of the 2021’s Worldwide Music Expo (WOMEX) to become the second Kurdish artist winning the prestigious award.
Aynur Dogan, a Kurd and Alavi, from the Kurdish areas in Turkey, is widely known for contributing to political activism fighting for the rights of Kurds and other minorities in Turkey, where she has left for years to reside in the Netherlands.
“Aynur Doğan’s cultural heritage has always been subject to discriminatory laws and public persecution, whether in the small mountain town of Çemişgezek where she grew up, or the metropolis of Istanbul. With her music, however, singer and bağlama player Doğan – now usually known simply as Aynur – creates space for her identities and for those that share them,” WOMEX said on its official website.
The award was given to Aynur Dogan for her efforts to preserve the Kurdish and Alevi songs against those that would have them silenced.
“This popularity and her outspoken nature has made her the target of right-wing and anti-Kurd groups in Turkey. Her shows became marred by disruptions, leading Aynur to move her base to Amsterdam in 2012,” the statement added.
“It is for her long-term dedication to the preservation and innovation of Kurdish and Alevi culture, for maintaining the highest artistic integrity in the face of political pressure and, in doing so, for being a model for all that sing against the silencers, that Aynur Doğan is a very worthy recipient of the WOMEX 21 Artist Award,” it added.
Dogan is now the second Kurdish artist to win the WOMEX award. Previously in 2019, Kurdish composer, musician, and Kamanche player Kayhan Kalhor from the Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhalat) had won the award.