The Baghdad-based cartoonist Khudair Alhimyari’s series on culture and Iraq continues. This month’s theme is ‘Outstanding Contributions to Iraqi Culture’.
Of the series, the artist has said:
I’ve noticed a sad new trend in Iraq’s cultural scene: government and non-governmental organisations decorate and award artists and intellectuals for their creativity in poorly organised propaganda ceremonies. These ceremonies have become very popular, partly because of the low costs associated with buying medals ($4) and printing certificates ($1). The shame rests on the artists who are willing to accept these sham awards.
“Certificate of Appreciation”
“Do not mind the neglect, the marginalization and lack of appreciation that you will get in your lifetime. Just die and see how we will love you, write about you, remember your time and praise you with the most beautiful poems.”
“The life of a creative person here amounts to one certificate of appreciation, then another certificate of appreciation, then another certificate of appreciation and finally a death certificate.”