Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Iraq's artists display war trauma in work

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Iraq's artists display war trauma in work

Iraqi painter Muayad Muhsin gestures shows off a painting in his studio in Baghdad. Many of Iraq's artists are using their work to process the turmoil since the 2003 US-led invasion, revealing a profound anger over their country's traumas and uncertainty of its future. (Associated Press) By Hamza Hendawi - Associated Press A sculpture, which bears a resemblance to photographs from Abu Ghraib prison, made by artist Abdul-Kareem Khalil in 2004, is on display at a gallery in Baghdad. (Associated Press) BAGHDAD | Iraq's artists are using their work to try to process the turmoil since the 2003 US-led invasion, and what they are producing shows a profound anger over their country's traumas and uncertainty over its future. They have a lot to deal with: A change of regime, foreign occupation, an insurgency, sectarian massacres and, now, the prospect of a divided nation left by the Americans in the hands of unpopular politicians, unprepared security forces and a fragile democracy. Many of the artists lament Saddam Hussein's ouster, but don't wish to see one day of his rule come back. They are grateful to America for having rid them of his tyranny, but they vilify it as a foreign occupier. The majority Shiites see justice in their post-Saddam empowerment after decades of oppression, but say their own politicians are ruining the country. "The Iraqi people are victimized by everything and everyone," says Fadel Saddam, who directs short films. "They are victimized by both the ruler and the foreign occupier."...

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