Baghdad: Iraq's artists are using their work to try to process the turmoil since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and what they are producing shows a profound anger over their country's traumas and uncertainty over its future.
They have a lot to deal with: A change of regime, foreign occupation, an insurgency, sectarian massacres and, now, the prospect of a divided nation left by the Americans in the hands of unpopular politicians, unprepared security forces and a fragile democracy.
The ambivalence is clear.
Many of the artists lament Saddam Hussein's ouster but don't wish to see one day of his rule come back. They are grateful to America for having rid them of his tyranny but they vilify it as a foreign occupier. The majority Shiites see justice in their post-Saddam empowerment after decades of oppression, but say their own politicians are ruining the country.
"The Iraqi people are victimized by everything and everyone," declares Fadel Saddam, who directs short films. "They are victimized by both the ruler and the foreign occupier."
First Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 16:13