Iraqi Artists Leave #BerlinBiennale in Protest at Abu Ghraib Installation

Three Iraqi artists pulled out of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art which is held in the famous German city till 18 September.

Why? Its because of what the call the ‘commodification of art’ related to the Abu Ghraib prison where Iraqis were tortured by US soldiers shortly after the American occupation of that country after 2003.

The three Iraqi artists – Sajjad Abbas, Layth Kareem and Raed Mutar – protested at their art being shown along an installation they deemed to be offensive. The long-held exhibition started on 11 June and aims to examine the “unfamiliar” in modern art.

Their work was shown at the Hamburger Bahnhof, alongside French artist Jean-Jacques Lebel’s installation Poison Soluble and involved a “maze of blown-up images of the crimes of the US occupation in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.”

The artists as well as their curator Rijin Sahakian said the installation didn’t do justice to the terrible period of pain, shock, sexual exploitation Iraqi prisoners have had to live with all these past years.

The action by the Iraqi artists is trending on the social media as well as news websites under different hashtags and their move has gone viral online.

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