The project Coexistent Ruins: Exploring Iraq’s Mesopotamian past through contemporary art is a long term, interdisciplinary, expanded-media, collaborative project that seeks to address how it might be possible to have renewed engagements with four ancient heritage sites, identified as Mesopotamian (Ur, Babylon, Nippur and Nimrud) as well as the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, by local Iraqi artists in post-conflict Iraq. These sites, while still providing security guards and space for international archaeological research, have become derelict during the recent traumatic wars and conflicts. The project has the specific aim of exploring the critical question of how contemporary collaborative art projects conducted at these key archaeological sites can enable a renewed engagement with this ancient heritage and history. This project explores the capacity for a form of artistic research that attends to political and social context, and a new aesthetic where ancient Mesopotamia heritage, known as ‘‘the cradle of civilization” is reclaimed for Iraq’s current traumatic identity, and for its people’s future.
Hanaa Malallah, has been working in collaboration with the following Iraqi artists at specific ancient sites inside Iraq:
• The Ziggurat at Nuffar/Ancient Nippur/Al Qadisiyyah. With Fatimah
• The Ziggurat at Ancient Ur/Tell al Muqqayar/Nasiriyah and its surroundings. With Reyah Abd Al-Redah.
• The Ruins of Ancient Babylon/Babil