An exhibition is being held in Mosul, which showcases the life of terror that many people witnessed while living under ISIS rule.
Dozens of art pieces are now hanging on the walls of the Royal Foyer hall in the Museum of Mosul, each telling a story to the visitors. When ISIS took over Mosul in June 2014, the militant group ransacked the museum selling off valuables on the black market and destroying relics in a dramatic propaganda video.
To many, this move marked the death of the city’s heritage. However, to the Moslawis who lived under ISIS’ rule, this was an invitation to restart the city’s heritage following liberation.
As a result, when the Mosul Project was launched by several archaeologists and artists, the project seeks to recreate the museum using 3D technology to be available for the next generations.
“We have a virtual museum and three-dimensional printers that can help give us almost a form of what we have lost,” said Matthew Vincent, an archaeologist and one of the founders of the Mosul Project. “Therefore, technology has given us a way to bring them back, but they will never replace the original pieces.”
As part of the Mosul Project, an exhibition was held, which gives Moslawis a chance to showcase their artwork that depicts their life under the militant group.
In the exhibition held in the museum, dozens of artists have displayed pieces, which commemorate the dark days that they lived under ISIS. Some have reflected the psychological stress that they continue to feel following ISIS’ defeat.
A young artist portrayed his psychological injury in painting, which depicts a black crow digging into the shoulder of a Moslawi woman, leaving scars even after the “crow” is long gone.
”I am still very shocked, since the liberation, which was a year or two ago,” said the artist. “I still wake up scared at night and believe that the plane will bomb us or they will come knocking on the door to take one of us.”
Others have decided to use their art to bring attention to issues that the city still faces due to ISIS three-year occupation.
“I draw a painting picturing the city pregnant with a monster. The city does not know how this monster came, but it carries it,” said Ahmed Muzahim, an artist from Mosul. “We have generations [of kids] that were raised wrong.”
Since the reopening of the museum and the exhibition dozens of visitors have come by, each contemplating on the paintings, attempting to empathise with the residents who are now trying to rebuild their destroyed heritage.