The See You in Kurdistan (SYK) project aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of the Kurdish population, culture, and history by drawing direct connections between the locals and visitors/non-locals. Within the centralized linkages of capitalism, where the dynamics of center and periphery do not allow human interconnections, the multi-layered aspects of the everyday life in Kurdistan is being concealed and rendered as secondary. Even in the tourism industry, most independent travelers in Iran – more than 90% – choose the ‘classic route’, which unsurprisingly passes from the center of Iran. This accumulation of tourists, knowledge, representation, capital, jobs, and infrastructure is paid at the cost of other people’s marginalization from cultural encounters, social benefits, and economic advantages. See You in Kurdistan, hopes to facilitate socio-economic connections in the region through sustainable tourism as an instrument, and to bring Kurdistan back to domestic and international dialogue.
Three years after launching and successfully running the See You in Iran (SYI) organization, the See You in Kurdistan (SYK) team conducted a one-year project of research and networking in Kurdistan. Holding the idea that Iran should not be reduced merely to Tehran and other central/touristic cities, the See You in Kurdistan Hostel and Art Residency in Marivan emerged as the socio-cultural embodiment of SYI’s development ideas and functions as SYI’s sister organization.