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Plastic Women and Teahouses: interview with the artist Rozhgar Mustafa

Rozhgar Mustafa is a video and performance artist based in Sulaymaniya. After training as a painter at the Institute of Fine Arts and the University of Sulaymaniya, Mustafa soon began experimenting with video, performance and ready-made objects to make works about women and womanhood in Iraq. In 2011, Mustafa arranged for a group of protesters…

Family Trees and Pop Culture Rebels: director Samir on his documentary film Iraqi Odyssey.

On 2 December, the Ruya Foundation co-sponsored the Iraqi premiere of the award-winning documentary film Iraqi Odyssey (2014). The film traces the epic journey of the filmmaker Samir’s own family who left Iraq more than half a century ago, and are now scattered across the world. Samir (b.1955, Iraq) is a Swiss-Iraqi film director, writer and…
News, Portfolio 

Happy Birthday, Rifat Chadirji

Rifat Chadirji, one of the most important living architects from Iraq, turned 90 this month. As an architect and planning consultant Chadirji played a central role in the urban development of Baghdad from the 1950s to the 70s. He created a new urban aesthetic for the city, which was a synthesis of Modernist principles and…

December Cartoon Series: Art Critics

For the month of December, Ruya has commissioned a weekly cartoon series on Art Critics, by Baghdad-based caricaturist Khudair Alhimyari. Below, the artist and the audience are sat together but the critic’s seat is empty. The artist calls out ‘We miss you!” to the critic.

Two Artist-Led Exhibitions in Sulaymaniya Signal an Artistic Revival in the City

The Shaab Teaouse is a popular teahouse in the city of Sulaymaniya. Opened in the 1950s, its patrons include famous Kurdish poets such as Faek Bekas, his son Sherko Bekas and Akhol Shaeb. During the civil war in the 1990s, the teahouse served as the unofficial headquarters of the PUK. Hung in several rows along…