‘Elections’: May Cartoon

The Baghdad-based cartoonist Khudair Alhimyari’s series on culture and Iraq continues. This month’s theme is Iraq’s parliamentary elections. Political Promises Two men discuss their vote and ballot papers. “What is the use if we mark them with right and they deliver wrong.” Self-Nominations Some candidates continue to nominate themselves although their popularity is visibly declining.

Ruya Shop: Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique (1924)

This weekend the Ruya Shop is screening Fernand Léger’s avant-garde film Ballet Mécanique (1924). Location: Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad Time: 10am – 2pm Date: Friday 4 May – Saturday 5 May Ballet Mechanique reflects the modernist fascination with industrialisation, and concerns about the mechanisation of everyday life.  The film is directed by French Surrealist artist Fernand…

‘Art, Companionship and Everyday Life’ by Aneta Szyłak

In 2008, the curator Aneta Szyłak and the artist Hiwa K founded Estrangement, a series of workshops for artists in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In this essay written ten years later as the introduction for Ruya Notebooks #2, Szyłak reflects on the challenges of this innovative project. Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes around…

What is an Image, a Sound, A Word? Interview with the artist Hassan Massoudy

Hassan Massoudy draws on his training as a calligrapher to create energetic compositions based on the written word. In an artistic career that has spanned 45 years, Massoudy’s experimental approach has pushed the limits of a rigid calligraphic tradition. His work includes the writings of poets and philosophers from all ages and cultures, ranging from…