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Lecture: A history of Iraqi modern art and Iraqi artists in the Diaspora, on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Distant Dreams; the other face of Iraq’, Kunstliefde (Utrecht)


Handout of my lecture on Iraqi modern art and Iraqi artists in the Diaspora, Kunstliefde, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 24 February 2012, on the occasion of the exhibition Distant Dreams;  five Iraqi artists in the Netherlands (Baldin Ahmad, Qassim Alsaedy, Salam Djaaz, Awni Sami and Araz Talib), with the addition of some of the visual material (click on the pictures to enlarge)

Introduction on the history and geography of Iraq

Origins and development of the Iraqi modern art (from 1950)



Jewad Selim              Faeq Hassan               Shakir Hassan al-Said



Mahmud Sabri             Dhia Azzawi                Rafa al-Nasiri   


Mohammed Mohreddin          Hanaa Mal-Allah

Art and mass-propaganda under the rule of the Ba’th Party


Al-Nasb al-Shaheed (‘The Martyr’s Monument’, by Ismael Fattah al-Turk)

Bab al-Nasr ( ‘Victory Arch’,  designed by Saddam Husayn and executed by Khalid al-Rahal and Mohammed Ghani Hikmet)


Statues and portraits of Saddam Husayn and Michel Aflaq (founder of the Ba’thparty)



Iraqi artists in the Diaspora

The Netherlands:


 Baldin Ahmad            Aras Kareem           Hoshyar Rasheed


Araz Talib             Awni Sami          Salam Djaaz


Qassim Alsaedy        Ziad Haider        Nedim Kufi


Some Iraqi artists in other countries:


Rebwar Saeed (England)         Anahit Sarkes (England)


Jananne al-Ani (England)      Ahmed al-Sudani (United States) 


Walid Siti (England)       Halim Al Kareem (Netherlands/United States) 


Adel Abidin (Finland)         Azad Nanakeli (Italy)


Ali Assaf (Italy)       Wafaa Bilal (United States)


On the screen a work of Mahmud Sabri, one of the most experimental Iraqi artists in history

A work of Jewad Selim, more or less the ‘founder of the Iraqi modern art’

On the screen a work of Shakir Hassan al-Said, whose style influenced artists all over the Arab and even the islamic world

Left (in front) Qassim Alsaedy. Me behind the laptop. Behind me (left side) my sister Leonie Schreve and her partner Anand Kanhai. Behind them the Iraqi artist Ali Talib. Second right of me Brigitte Reuter, who created many works together with Qassim Alsaedy. On the walls (right) the work of Awni Sami

Left behind me Martin van der Randen, curator of this exhibition. Left on the wall the work of Baldin Ahmad

Floris Schreve

 فلوريس سحرافا
Photos during the lecture by Liesbeth Schreve-Brinkman

6 Reacties

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  1. Qassim Alsaedy said, on 28 februari 2012 at 00:13

    Dear Ffloris,

    Your name in arabic languge as letters & writing is :

    فلورس سخريفه

    تحيات قاسم الساعدي

  2. Floris Schreve said, on 28 februari 2012 at 00:25

    Dear Qassim,

    Thank you for your correction/suggestion. Of course it it is a transcription. I considered also your option to use the ‘ta marbuta’ ( to use the ‘ya’ I never thought about) as a possibillity, but I thought the use of the ‘ta marbuta’ makes my last name a feminine word. Nothing wrong with that 😉 but I thought it also suggests the possibillity of an ‘a (t)’ at the end. That’s why I thought the ‘alif’ could be an alternative, which many native Arab speakers pronounce as a Dutch ‘é’. But I will think about it, because maybe I made a stupid choice 😉

    Thanks for your help!

  3. araz talib said, on 28 februari 2012 at 10:13

    bedankt voor je energie om aan de Nederlandse publiek een inzicht te geven
    in de geschedines van Iraakese kunst
    wat ik leuk vond dat er is een grote intersse van Nederlander voor wat in Irak kunst betekent


  4. Floris Schreve said, on 29 februari 2012 at 07:27

    Dank je Araz. En ook weer goed om weer opnieuw met je werk kennis te maken na zoveel jaar. Want dat was ook alweer een tijdje geleden

  5. Azad Saber said, on 29 februari 2012 at 10:15

    My name is Azad Saber. I was born in Sulaimanya Kurdistan …

  6. Floris Schreve said, on 29 februari 2012 at 12:10

    Dear Azad Saber,

    Thanks for the link to your website. I had a quick look, but I promise I will have an extensive view later.

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