Humanities & Science

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Iraq: Between War and Arts

[Jakarta, LTTW] It’s been a decade since the Iraq War had begun. Did the “mission accomplished” fantasy last? Not from what it seems in many media portrayals of Iraq so far. Nonetheless, let’s not forget that this is about Iraq, the land once known as a peaceful salad bowl of cultures; and to the Iraqis, things are a little bit different. The hopes are high, and they are taking it very seriously.

According to the Telegraph, the Iraqi capital Baghdad is approaching herself as a “capital of culture” for 2013, to remind the world that there is more to culture than bombs and bloods in Iraq. There are more indicators showing that the recent “battlefield” caused by the war is rebuilding itself a home that can provide a positive energy for the people. The National Museum of Baghdad was finally reopened; a number of Iraqi Diasporas have brought together Iraqi artists across the globe to share their experiences through art; not-for-profit projects for the advancement of Iraqi art and public education are springing up everywhere; and top-selling musicians are growing swiftly.

The above indications are truly a good sign of Iraq’s rising, and certainly as good as knowing that the arts are responding to such struggles. However, being around the ever growing arts activities do not necessarily mean that the culture is “vibrant” already; it is a term used for reflecting how the arts is functioning as healing and creative force among the societies. Viewing today’s Iraq’s vibrant art and music scene within this perspective, we have had to trace back from its great history of art and music, and then ask ourselves a question: Will the future of Iraq’s art and music scene be vibrant than ever?


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