“Navigating the Aftermath” tour featuring art and film by Minnesotans and Iraqis in dialogue on the current state of the Iraq War is coming to Bemidji this Friday. Come to the exhibit on July 1st at the Wild Rose Theater and Fleur de Lis Gallery at 501 Bemidji Avenue; the reception runs 5-8 p.m. with a presentation at 7 p.m. A screening of The Unreturned and discussion with Director Nathan Fisher will be held on July 13 at 7:30 PM in the Wild Rose Theater.
The Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP), the Bemidji Community Arts Center and Saarens Productions -announce the opening of the Navigating the Aftermath exhibit on July 1, 2011 at the Wild Rose Theater and Fleur de Lis Gallery in Bemidji. The exhibit, which will run until July 13, will feature art and film by Minnesotans and Iraqis in dialogue on the current state of the war, Iraq’s 4.7 million refugees, and on Iraq’s present and future.
The featured artists include Minnesota veterans, Iraqi refugees, and Iraqi-Americans. The artists come from a variety of backgrounds and work in different mediums. The unifying factor is that each artist is someone who has been personally affected by the Iraq War, or has devoted a significant body of work toward awareness of the repercussions of the war.
The exhibit will also feature the documentary film, The Unreturned. Directed by Minnesota native Nathan Fisher, The Unreturned looks at the continuing middle-class Iraqi refugee disaster and portrays the lives of five displaced Iraqis from diverse ethnicities and religions. A few of the film’s most recent awards include Best of Festival at the 2010 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Opening Night Selection at the 2010 One World Film Festival in Ottawa, and Official Selections at the 2010 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York and the 2010 UNHCR Film Festival in Tokyo.
The tour’s curator, Tricia Khutoretsky, says, “From the American perspective, the artists will be veterans, friends and family of soldiers or those closely tied to the war through activism. The voice will be that of the lives changed and the lives taken in Iraq. Carefully chosen artists will answer through their art: What needs to be remembered? What can we let go of? And how do we move forward? Both Iraqi and American artist perspectives will contribute to a two-way dialogue, where the first step towards addressing, ‘what’s next,’ is to listen.”
The Navigating the Aftermath tour includes six stops around Minnesota: Mankato, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Ely, Duluth, and Winona. With over 4,400 American casualties, at least 100,000 Iraqi casualties, over 32,000 Americans wounded, and at least 2 million Iraqis forced to flee their country, the ongoing Iraq War has etched itself onto American and Iraqi history. Navigating the Aftermath features a range of voices on the ongoing war, from US veterans to Iraqi refugees to Iraqi-Americans. Through their work, artists examine how the war has changed them personally and altered the future of their countries.
For further information, please contact IARP or visit the tour website, www.navigatingtheaftermath.org.
The IraqiandAmericanReconciliationProject (IARP) connects Iraqis and Americans in innovative art, education, health, and cultural exchange programs that promote peace and reconciliation. Working with our partner in Iraq the Muslim Peacemaker Teams, we empower Americans to see beyond stereotypes and support the rebuilding of Iraqi society. We help Americans build personal and cultural connections across the globe.
The MuslimPeacemakerTeams (MPT) bring all Iraqi groups together in peace to work for the good of the country by getting in the way of violence and encouraging the people to be self sufficient. MPT’s immediate goals are to teach peace and human rights so the Iraqi people can once again live in a civil society, to help the people to maintain their physical health, and to lift their spirits by providing encouragement and support.
This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.