The Iraqi Artists’ Union branch in the Nineveh province has held its first conference after the liberation of the city of Mosul.
In the conference several projects were discussed, most notably preparations of the city-wide celebration to mark the historic victory of the Iraqi security forces in liberation of the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. The end of the nine-month campaign to liberate the city was heavily awaited and celebrated by the people of Mosul and their fellow Iraqis. The downfall of the terrorist group is a sign of hope for many who wish to see a reformed Iraqi nation built upon the values of unity, toleration and freedom.
“This festival, which we will be hosting, includes a group of artists and playwrights of all kinds. Its goal is to foster unity and work against the radical ideology of ISIS,” said a young woman who participated in the conference.
A notable project which was discussed at the conference was how to dispel ISIS’ ideology from the minds of those who were forced to live in ISIS occupied territory and were thus subject to indoctrination. The artists brainstormed ways in which they could use art as a medium to raise public awareness to the dangers of extremists ideologies and the destruction they cause in society. Another topic discussed was the situation of Nineveh’s artists after the liberation of the city.
During the three years in which ISIS exercised total domination and power in Mosul, the group garnered a reputation for their totalitarian and violent tactics in restricting and oppressing the civilian population. The art scene, like all other areas which could have been a hotbed for contentious activity, was targeted.
The Iraqi Artists’ Union seeks to re-estabilsh the presence of artists in Iraq’s second largest city, which was once considered a cultural centre of the nation which reflected its ethnically diverse demographic.