Man in Dara after military opened fire on protesters, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

Majd Abdel Hamid: ‘Nothing is more present today than violence’

Regional Conversations is a new series of online articles by the Ruya Foundation. Through interviews, studio visits, essays and online galleries, the series addresses issues surrounding art and conflict in the region. Majd Abdelhamid is an insomniac. In the evenings, he trawls through Youtube videos and the news on television, collecting images and videos of…

Venice Conversations: How Can I See What You Saw?

The Berlin-based artist Nadine Hattom left Iraq with her family as a child. She reflects on her family’s journey, identity and the ancient traditions of the Mandaean community that she grew up in. The Mandaeans are a religious group from southern Iraq whose cultural practices particularly relate to water, and who were known for their craftwork on…
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Mutanabbi Street: March Cartoon Series

Khudair Alhimyari has drawn a series of cartoons on Mutanabbi Street, a street in Baghdad that is famous for its bookmarket. March 5 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the devastating bomb attacks on Mutanabbi Street. On Mutanabbi Street, selfies make better news than books. Picture One: selfie in front of a bookstore Picture Two: selfie…
Omar Abdul Samad, studying cinema, and works in the field of theater and acting.Rasheed Street, baghdad, Iraq. May 21 2015.

Venice Conversations: War Reporter Ali Arkady Documents the Art Scene in Baghdad

Ali Arkady (b. 1982, Khanaqin) is a photographer and filmmaker from Khanaqin, Iraq. Since 2014, after the armed group ISIS invaded and took control of vast areas of northern Iraq Arkady has been reporting regularly from the frontline, embedded with the Kurdish forces and the Iraqi Security Forces. He has covered the recent operations to drive ISIS out of the…

Filmmaking in Iraq: February Cartoon Series

February is the month of film festivals, from the Berlinale to Rotterdam, and the Academy Awards. Khudair Alhimyari has drawn a series of cartoons on filmmaking in Iraq. “I am looking at the conditions of working life in Iraq through its filmmakers,” says Alhimyari, “the complacency of the filmmakers in this cartoon is also a critical comment…

Video: Girls of Baghdad

In March 2015, the Ruya Foundation launched the first drama therapy project in Iraq. Girls from the Dar Azuhur Orphanage in Baghdad worked with six leading Iraqi actors to learn the basics of theatre. Together they wrote, produced, directed and acted in their own play. This is their story.