Rest in Peace, Luay Fadhil, 1982-2023

Ruya Foundation was sorry to hear of Luay Fadhil’s untimely death in Baghdad where his body was found six days after he disappeared. Born in Baghdad in 1982, Fadhil was a filmmaker and one of the artists in Ruya’s Archaic exhibition of the Iraq Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. After training as a construction…

In Search of the Marshes: Burial of a Fish

Akeel Khreef’s year-long exploration of the drying out of Iraq’s marshes has culminated in the burial of a fish in the world’s largest cemetery. The Wadi Al Salam cemetery in the Iraqi city of Najaf attracts millions of pilgrims annually. Khreef follows traditional rituals as he walks the dead fish through the cemetery to its…

In Search of the Marshes: to Shroud a Boat

Akeel Khreef shrouds a traditional boat in a white cloth, as he mourns the decline of the ancient cultures living along Iraq’s marshes, in his May report for the World Weather Network. Follow Akeel Khreef’s journey through Iraq’s southern marshes for the World Weather Network here.

In Search of the Marshes: Speaking to the Reeds

Akeel Khreef speaks to the still, silent reeds of the southern Iraqi marshes, celebrating their ancient history, and asking how they will survive the man-made ecological disasters that have lead to their decline. “You’re almost 5000 years old. What’s the difference between the past and now?” He asks. Follow Akeel Khreef’s journey through Iraq’s southern…

In Search of the Marshes: Migration

A resident of the Iraqi marshes tells artist Akeel Khreef about their declining way of life, which has been threatened by pollution and rising temperatures. “His lifestyle depends on water,” says Abu Salah, of the resident of the marsh Arabs like himself,“It’s like killing him, to tell him to go to the city,” “Seven buffaloes…

In Search of the Marshes: the Buffalo of Chibayish

Akeel Khreef follows buffalo living along the Iraqi marshes of Chibayish. The region suffered terribly under Saddam when he drained it in order to punish the Marsh Arabs, the Madan, who had backed a Shiite uprising. Thousands of people were then murdered, houses burned down, land mines scattered and remaining water sources were poisoned. The…

In Search of the Marshes: Arrival of Rain

In winter, the sun sets early in over the reeds, and inhabitants, enjoying the cool breeze, sing folk songs as they race back home on their makeshift speedboats. Follow Akeel Khreef’s journey here.