Iraqi Artists Get Back To Work

Iraq’s artists are feeling energized. “In the theaters, at least, young actors have embraced a measure of new freedom. The dozens of young actors and directors at the National Theater scrambling to ready plays for a festival next month have seized with enthusiasm an artistic freedom unknown for 25 years in Iraq. Their palpable energy is echoed elsewhere in the fine arts, where a cadre of younger Iraqi painters and sculptors have emerged from the shadows of a generation of state-funded artists who lived comfortably under the old regime – so long as they hewed to a narrow and apolitical path. For the artists discovering a new space in post-Hussein Iraq, liberation from a totalitarian government has wrought a cultural revolution.”