Dr Joanna Bocheńska

Director of the Section of Kurdish Studies at the Department of Iranian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies of Jagiellonian University (Kraków), Between 2013-2018 director of the team research project entitled How to make a voice audible. Continuity and Change of Kurdish Culture and of Social Reality in Postcolonial perspectives granted by the National Science Centre of Poland She is also translator from Kurdish and Russian languages and photographer.


Research interests: Kurdish literature and language, Middle Eastern cinema, Yezidism, Islam, ethics, moral imagination, dehumanisation.


In 1997 she took up studies at the Department of Russian Philology at the Jagiellonian University, getting her MA degree in 2002. She studied also the Photography Workshop led by Prof. Zbigniew Łagocki at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts. In 2001 she won the grant of the Soros Foundation to study at the Russian Federation State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in the class of non-fiction film direction led by Prof. V. A. Man (2002-2003). In 2004 she took up her PhD studies at Jagiellonian University devoted to Kurdish identity and literary issues. Her PhD project received support from the Estreicher Foundation (2005) and the “Supervisor’s grant” (2007-2008) of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.


Photography by Joanna Bocheńska



Exibitions of JB photographs:


  • Notes from the Journey. Turkey-Kurdistan 2002, Kraków and Moscow
  • My 5 minutes in VGIK, 2003, Moscow
  • Wenesday Evening, Moscow 2003
  • Stories from Anatolia, Kraków 2003,
  • On the Path of Memory. Armenian Churches, Kraków 2004,
  • Between Dream and Reality, Kraków 2005,
  • Kurdistan Beautiful – or Not?, Kraków 2007,
  • Between Darkness and Light, Kraków 2009,
  • Doors to Paradise. Iraqi Kurdistan from Different Perspective, Kraków 2013



  • Selected publications


    Rediscovering Kurdistan's Cultures and Identities: The Call of The Cricket, (ed.) Palgrave Macmillan 2018