A New York Times article discussing how Iraqi artists have increasingly been creating work that is reflective and representative of the death and violence that has plagued their homeland. The article states that Iraqi artists find it impossible to ignore their violent surroundings, and find it difficult to create scenes of peace and beauty while they are surrounded by bloodshed.
“A new generation of Iraqi artists, one molded by bloodshed and occupation, is finding its voice in a place reshaped by eight years of war. They grew up under Saddam Hussein and stayed in Iraq through the killing and mayhem that scattered hundreds of Iraq’s most prominent artists into exile in Europe, Jordan and America. “Young Iraqis are able to create a new kind of painting to fill this vacuum,” said Mohammed al-Kanani, the head of Iraq’s high committee for the arts. “They are a window.”
But they are straining against the same forces that stifled a youth-led protest movement earlier this year: a calcified political and social elite that wants to control the country’s narrative. While the fall of Mr. Hussein gave artists a new freedom to paint what they want, including once-forbidden political subjects, the artists say they are still rebuked, even sometimes intimidated, by the artistic and political establishment for expressing a grim vision of Iraq. Their elders would prefer them to avoid uncomfortable subjects like the corruption and violence that continues to plague the country.” (from the article cited below)
Check out the article here: