Derek Gregory touches on Dia al-Azzawi’s Sabra and Shatila Massacre (1982-3) (recently acquired and exhibited by Tate Modern) and Elegy to My Trapped City (2011) (recently on show at Meem Gallery in Dubai). Both works reference Picasso’s Guernica, which surfaces again and again in relation to the Iraq war.
Since I read it yesterday I’ve been mesmerized by Maymanah Farwat‘s fine short essay at Jadaliyya on Baghdad-born artist Dia al-Azzawi‘s (pictured left) Sabra and Shatila Massacre currently on view at Tate Modern in London.
The artwork itself is copyright, and the Tate online pages describe but don’t display it, but if you click on the link to Jadaliyya above you can see it; it’s also – vividly – here, and there’s also a detail here and more here. The vast four-panelled work is a response to the massacre of Palestinians in two refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982 by Phalangist militias under the eyes of the Israeli Defense Force commanded by Ariel Sharon.
Within a labyrinth of death and the mundane (the remnants of domestic structures), the artist is relentless in his indictment, what he refers to as “a manifesto of dismay and anger.”…
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