The Iraqi Art Project

The Iraqi Art Project presents Iraqi and American visual art, film, bookmaking, and theater to audiences throughout Minnesota and the U.S.

Through interactive exhibits, workshops, performances, lectures, and discussions, the Iraqi Art Project brings Iraqi and American artists and audiences together in meaningful dialogue.  Our art project has presented programs at more than 50 galleries and public spaces in Minnesota and across the Midwest, displaying more than 450 pieces of art from the Najaf and Karbala areas of Iraq.  We welcome visiting Iraqi artists and educators to attend trainings, display their work, and build relationships with local counterparts.

 Woman writing on exhibit board
 People at not about bombs exhibit
 filmmakers in front of audience

Through art, we can break down stereotypes and directly tell other Americans who we are and why we as new Americans are here.
— Jamal Ali, Iraqi Voices Participant

Iraqi Voices Arts Collaborative

With our Iraqi Voices arts collaborative, we create accessible spaces for conversations and empower local refugees and immigrants to share their stories through art.  Iraqi Voices is an ongoing mentoring program that pairs local Iraqi community members with professional artists to create original artwork about their home, experiences, and lives in Iraq and Minnesota.

Birds Sing Differently Here

In 2017, IARP’s Iraqi Voices program premiered our first theater production, “Birds Sing Differently Here.”  Based on the true stories of 12 Iraqi-Minnesotan refugees and immigrants, “Birds Sing Differently Here” wove together stories of sweetness, sorrow, grief and discovery along the way.  The project brought together a diverse, intergenerational group of local Iraqi community members to tell their stories onstage to Twin Cities audiences. To meet popular demand, plans for a 2019 tour to new cities and audiences across Minnesota are underway.  Our cast looks forward to sharing their stories with new neighbors and friends.

I wish all Americans could see this kind of performance.  It is always important to get to know people and see them as individuals and not just numbers on the news.
— “Birds” Guthrie audience member, 2017
 Birds-Group-on-stage
 Bahaa on stage
 Hanaa-on-stage

Documentary Films

Through the Iraqi Voices program, Iraqi-Minnesotans have created 14 short documentary films since 2012 that have been screened at venues and organizations like the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival, the Vail Film Festival in Colorado, the Walker Art Center, Mizna  Arab Film Festival, Duluth Art Institute, Zeitgeist Arts, the University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center, and many others. These events and discussions challenge attendees to examine their assumptions about Iraq, refugees, Arabs, Muslims, and provide opportunities  for community members to engage and build relationships across cultures.

“The films gave humanity to Iraqi-Americans, not just labeling them as immigrants or refugees, but scientists, engineers, doctors, students, business owners, school board members, and artists.”
— - Iraqi Voices Film Tour audience member, 2018
 

View Iraqi Voices documentary videos below:

  Iraq Darkly

Iraq Darkly

  The Actor

The Actor

  Naser

Naser

 
  The Barbershop

The Barbershop

  The Iraqi Dream

The Iraqi Dream

  The Document

The Document

 
  That’s What We Hear on the News

That’s What We Hear on the News

  Torn Between

Torn Between

  The Fifty Generation

The Fifty Generation

 
  Jameela

Jameela

  Alice

Alice

  Mohammed

Mohammed

 

Books by Iraqis

IARP previously collaborated with The Advocates for Human Rights, the Veterans Books Project, and artist Monica Haller to make books with several local Iraqis.  The books tell the stories of the Iraqi authors.

 Tarah Ali Book Cover

Tarah Ali
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 Ali M. Al Husseiny Book cover

Ali M. Al-Husseiny
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 Tarik Rasouli Book Cover

Tarik Rasouli
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 Sudad Abdulhusseen Book Cover

Sudad Abdulhusseen
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 Ahmed Taleb Dawood Book Cover

Ahmed Talab Dawood
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 Sarah Kanan Book Cover

Sarah Kanan
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 Alia Al Ali Book Cover

Alia Al-Ali
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 Zainab Jawhar Book Cover

Zainab Jawhar
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 Hilwah-Sabah-Raji-Airufaie Book Cover

Hilwah Sabah Raji Alrufaie
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