FROM IRAQ TO THE WORLD AND BACK: BUILDING BRIDGES WITH ART AND CULTURE.

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Is yesterday’s modernity a model for the future?  An architectural historian reflects on Latif al Ani’s photographs of the expansion of Iraq’s cities in the 50s and 60s.

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Interview: Baghdad artist Rawan al Mukhtar talks about carpets, tribes and Iraqi toilets.

Rawan al Mukhtar (b.1991, Baghdad) lives and works in Baghdad. Her most recent work, the video installation Tellaqtin, 2015, explores the relationship between Eastern and Western culture. A student at the College of Fine Arts, University of Baghdad, where she has specialised in painting, Rawan often stages and photographs the scenes that she wants to portray, bringing…
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Interview: writer Hassan Blasim on magic, horror, and his journey on foot to Europe.

Hassan Blasim is an Iraqi writer and filmmaker, who’s series of short stories The Iraqi Christ won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014. He speaks to Ruya about being a film student in Baghdad at the time of the UN sanctions, shooting his controversial film The Wounded Camera, his journey on foot to Europe, and his upcoming…
Dilan Abidin, Helmet, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Winter Baghdad Exhibition at the International Zone

Ahead of the Winter Baghdad Exhibition in the International Zone on December 17 2015, Furat al Jamil, director of Ruya’s Baghdad office, writes: As part of our ongoing efforts to support artists in Iraq we’ve collaborated with the Embassy of Canada to host an exhibition of recent work by Iraqi artists, inside the International Zone.…
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Interview: Asmaa Alanbari on identity, culture and the body.

Asmaa Alanbari is an Iraqi born visual artist and creative director based in London. Her work deals with identity and cross cultural dialogue through the painting and photography of the human body. She directs public art events and projects, such as art exhibitions and other interactive cultural events. One example is a program called “Self…
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The Iraqi city and architecture in Latif Al Ani’ s work: yesterday’s modernity, a model for the future?

Architectural historian Caecilia Pieri reflects on photographer Latif Al Ani’s work of the 50s and 60s, documenting the modern expansion of Baghdad and Iraq’s cities. Pieri is an associate researcher at the French Institute of the Near East, and the author of Baghdad: la construction d’une capitale moderne 1914-1960 (2015) and Baghdad Arts Deco (2003) among other publications. Latif al Ani…
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Ruya Lab #1: The sound art project Baghdad Wahid

Water dripping from a pipe, someone’s wife snoring at night, a mother singing an Iraqi lullaby, drumming and songs of mourning to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein. These sounds range from the mundane to the sacred, but to the individuals who recorded them last month, they reflect Baghdad – its past and its present.…
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Artist Hussein Shabeeb on identity and crossing borders.

Who are you before they ask: “who are you”? How did you survive the events of the world to get here? Stand in your corridor and give me your passport Show me your eyes, smile Thank you – Fares Haram for iPass, 2015. In the dark projection room of an arts centre in Baghdad, a slideshow…
Dhikra Sarsam, Untitled collage, 2012

Mermaids, Myths and Women Who Collect Salt: Interview with the artist Dhikra Sarsam

Dhikra Sarsam (b. Baghdad 1965) is a documentary film-maker and children’s illustrator. Her colourful collages and children’s illustrations recount local and religious tales, famous poems, fairy tales and the Arabian Nights.  She has worked on a number of documentaries, including Rahma Zainab and others, about under-age marriage in Iraq and is an active member of…
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Objects that tell a story: product designer Hozan Zangana

Ruya Foundation spoke to Hozan Zangana, an Iraqi-Kurdish product designer based in the Netherlands. Zangana’s series Haft Sin, a set of plates and bowls he created for the festival of Nawruz, was on display at Design Days Dubai 2015. His latest collection, Shaping from Intuition recently launched at Dutch Design Week. What influenced the series Haft Sin,…
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