[P6318] Art and Revolution in Iraq
Created by Bridget Guarasci
Monday, 11/29/21 2:00 pm
SUMMARY:This panel develops a new political vocabulary to chart Iraqi geography through an engagement with visual artists whose work reframes the nation’s past and present. Papers in the panel demonstrate how Iraqi artists offer a fresh lexicon to make visible unseen structural violence inherent in the statecraft project. Participants demonstrate how artists re-map Iraq’s geographies, both physical and imagined, and in so doing develop modalities for seeing and engaging the state. In a post-truth world, these artists demonstrate that artistic expression—both visual and textual—offer a more expansive vocabulary than reportage to redefine Iraq and what can be known about it. Iraqi artists subvert dominant ways of narrating the state by composing symbols of a past never seen by their creators but reconstructed from archival traces; imagined realities that could be in the present and yet are not; and deliberations on regional futures. The panel ultimately considers how Iraqi artists reframe national geography by asking their audiences to confront the uncomfortable truths that defined its bounds or by charting a new way forward altogether.