Iraqi artist depicts life under ISIL

Source: Aljazeera

Mostafa Taei’s paintings became a record of gruesome atrocities: beheadings, injured children and hangings.

When ISIL captured his town, Taei hid his artworks but continued to paint in secret [Campbell MacDiarmid/Al Jazeera]

Hammam al-Alil, Iraq – Ask anyone in the northern Iraqi town of Hammam al-Alil where Mustafa Taei lives and they will direct visitors down increasingly narrow streets through the bazaar towards a vibrantly painted breeze-block house.

Outside, a mural depicts painted palm trees and Iraqi flags fluttering over a mosque and a church. Standing alongside are a winged Assyrian deity, the Ziggurat of Ur and the ancient Babylonian Ishtar Gate. They are symbols of Iraq’s cultural heritage and historic plurality. Taei, a resident of Hammam al-Alil, says he was briefly jailed by fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) who controlled the town until last November.

“Daesh beat me with sticks when they heard I was painting,” Taei says, beaming widely through broken glasses perched precariously on his nose. He has reason to smile: He is now free to paint openly again.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: