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The University of Southampton
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media

Global Futures Public Forum Stimulates Debate about Art and Everyday Life in Iraq and Iran

Published: 9 July 2013

A recent two-day public Global Futures Forum, held at the Mosaic Rooms in Kensington, London has initiated vibrant discussions about society, culture and everyday life in Iraq and Iran.

For decades, the Western media have shown Iraq and Iran as threats to global peace. The event, entitled “10 Years On: Art and Everyday Life in Iraq and Iran”, brought together specialists and professionals in mass media, the visual and performing arts, cultural and social studies and history, to challenge this conception.

Video footage of the Forum is now available here .

The Global Futures Forum was held by Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media in partnership with Ibraaz ( and examined Western representations of Iraq and Iran and offered diverse alternative accounts of real life in Iraq and Iran today. The event included talks by Iraqi American artist Wafaa Bilal, art historian Kathy Battista and a panel, moderated by Anthony Downey of Ibraaz , featuring panelists Adel Abidin, Rijin Sahakian and Jananne Al-Ani. There was also a lecture performance by the arts collective Slavs and Tatars, followed by the launch of their new book Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz .

Talks, panels and performances stimulated discussion on a wide range of issues, including the diverging situation in different parts of Iraq and Iran today, the role of non-profit organisations working in situ with artists and young children ‘on the ground’ and the need for a more nuanced way of discussing the disjunctures and continuities of the practices of artists working in exile.

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