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Watch the Trailer for Francis Alÿs’ film ‘Sandlines, the Story of History’

Ruya Foundation is pleased to share the trailer of Francis Alÿs’ recent film ‘Sandlines, the Story of History’ (2019), which was made in collaboration with the Foundation and Julien Devaux. The trailer introduces the children of the village of Nerkzlia who were Alÿs’ cast. Through costumes and puppets they play characters from Iraq’s history, from…

Statement for Solidarity Against the Violence in Iraq

In solidarity with the popular youth uprisings that have erupted in Iraq against state corruption and deteriorating economic and living conditions, Ruya Foundation calls for a strike of cultural institutions in Iraq. We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesting, and the bloodshed that has lead to the death of over 265 protestors so…
Essay 

Themes of Fatherland #4: Nature

In ‘Fatherland,’ the Iraq Pavilion exhibition at the Venice Biennale, the artist Serwan Baran explores the nature of war, patriarchy and militarism, based on his own experiences as a soldier in the Iraqi army in the1990s. Yet decades of ongoing war, Baran says, has also impacted Iraq’s nature and ecology. “Baghdad was once a green…
 

Themes of Fatherland #3: The War Artist

The Iraq Pavilion artist Serwan Baran fought as a soldier during the Iran-Iraq war, and served as a war artist in the first Gulf War. But he dismisses his art work from that period as state-sanctioned propaganda. “We painted in a realistic style but the paintings had nothing to do with the reality that we…
Essay 

Themes of Fatherland #2: The Boat

Serwan Baran’s The Last General (2019), a new commission unveiled at the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, depicts the corpse of an army general floating on a reed boat. As visitors enter the Pavilion’s first room they stumble on the clay and resin sculpture. The general’s body appears rested, but his head drops backwards,…