Friday, September 19, 2008

From an artists point of view...

Inanna in Damascus


I was really excited to see that my painting "Inanna in Damascus" had generated dialogue on Arabic Online newspaper ELAPH in the past couple of days. As an Iraqi woman, painter aside, I was interested to see what kind of discussion was stirred up by the exposure to a painting about Iraqi female prostitution, a crisis that I consider very important to expose. 
First and foremost, I must give my thanks to Dr. Suki Falconberg who was the first to respond to my painting by way of writing an article about it which subsequently got posted on quite a number of blogs, primarily American Chronicle. It was through Dr. Falconberg's article that it was translated to Arabic by Mohammad Hamed and posted on the ELAPH website.
I highly enjoyed reading the feedback, and they are words that I will take into consideration. However, a few comments disturbed me and I wanted to take the chance to stand up for my beliefs and for my representation of these beliefs. 
I do not paint for fame. I am not interested in how the market values my art and I do not want to be known for being a "controversial artist". I paint for my people, and I paint to generate dialogue amongst people. Not only from the art elite, but from the public, regardless of who they may be.
That is the reason I was excited to see that people responded to my painting.
Second, I would be the last person to exploit my country and the crisis it is currently passing through. I am not one to believe that one must stand up for their country for good or bad. I am not blinded by nationalism and I have no allegiance to a flag. I am an Iraqi woman and this history belongs to me, as much as any other person who would like to claim it. War is not an honourable event, and unfortunately for Iraq, its crisis is public. The injustices that the land and people of Iraq are passing through are results of many agents and players. 
I respond to these injustices by paint because I believe viewers should know about them and to be able to recognize who the key players are. At least to think critically about the images before them. 

Prostitution has never been a secret. There has been prostitution of women of all nationalities since time immortal. And I agree with many of the commenters that wanted to remind me that Saddam Hussein and his sons Uday and Qusay played a huge role in the shaming of Iraqi women. But this painting was not about Saddam. We are still suffering the consequences of Saddams 35 year reign, and this is one of its consequences. 
Every social problem that Iraq is suffering from is a consequence of Saddam Hussein, from illiteracy, sectarianism, to the shortage of electricity! But he is only part of the picture. It is not the big picture.

Alot of commenters asked me where I was when other injustices were happening to Iraq and its people. Well, this is but one of my paintings and there will be many more. I am a young artist and I still have much more to say.


10 comments:

Ronin said...

Actually i hope you are not depending on painting t make living because your paints is so bad make me want to throw up!
and i think u project on this paint show Iraqi women as whore

i think you your self is whore!and want to makes all Iraqi women like you!or at least that what u think!!!!!!

get Psychological help!
and say thank you to the night club you use to sell your body in UAE!

Bitch
بالعراقي

انت فد وحدة ساقطة وكاولية ومنيجة من جايلة بس وعبالج كل الناس مثلك!
يا قذرةا

Ronin said...

some thing else Bitch!

if you want to paint Iraqi women pick some one deserve to be paint

like Iraqi mothers suffer to raise their children during Saddam wars

or Iraqi girls fight to get knowledge in collages every day

i am sure great artists have whores on their times but not all of them paint them i did not know that Monaliza is whore!!!!?

but you just painted your self in you good days as whore in UAE
do not you!
what makes me happy is IRAQ is clean from whores like you know fortunately!

Abbas Hawazin said...

Greetings fellow Iraqi blogger,

I have added your blog to the Iraqi Blog Count, I apologize for not doing so earlier.

and also I've written a short review of your painting on my own personal blog, I do think you have potential and I do like some of your paintings, I do hope you find something good in my input.
p.s. don't be disheartened by some people like the idiot above.
Best,
Abbas

Ronin said...

abbas i think that is your sister in jordan selling her self to every one right heheheheh piece of shit refugees

Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bruno said...

Wow, what an idiot that Ronin is. Not only does he completely misunderstand the point of the artist, but reveals his stupidity as well.

Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
butta said...

ronin, please settle down. your writing is terrible because your so angry. second of all, do you really think any patriarch such as yourself can really say that she needs psychological help when your screaming whore....you want to see positive role models in her paintings....moms, students, yet you dont think the sex trade merits discussion.props to the artist for having the balls that you don't have to be able to see things from all sides. Whores can be mothers and studnets as well. Allah understands that, and you obviously have a lot to learn about what is really going on in the lives of the people you so easily spit on. may you have a thousand daughters, so that one day u will be able to have a real open conversation with a woman, who is also a fellow human being..
biotch!!!!!!

Ronin said...

Not in our society! Mr perfect!!
sorry to offend you when i talk about a whores because a whore is whore to our society!and better not be a mother because she will be a whore mother(cocaine babies,std etc i am sure you know about all these from your experience)!!!!!
PS:this is my opinion not your commercial prostitute rights campaign speech!!(blah blah blah)

The Hand Of Fatima Design said...

your painting is magnificent. the message was conveyed to me clear as day, but it was not apparent to the first glance.
us iranians share Mesopotamian contemplations too, something of the soil and the beginning of time i guess?