March 2003 – March 2013. Ten years of war seen from Iraq and elsewhere on a webdocumentary that is updated daily to May, 1 – the day that George Bush declared the “Mission Accomplished”.
What do we know about Iraq? What images does it conjure up? A birthplace of writing, gold (the black sort), a primetime war, an ousted dictator and, today, the occasional blurry, blood-stained news.
The verbosity that once gushed from Western media has dried up and the lingering impression surrounding Baghdad today is one of everyday but faraway chaos. But what do we know – really – about Iraqis’ daily lives today, 10 years after the second Gulf War began? What do Shiites, Sunnites, Kurds and Christians have to say about their aspirations, sufferings, doubts and hopes? That was what we wanted to hear and see. This webdocumentary is all about what they have to say, in their video stories, their photos and their interviews.
The goal is to get the facts straight from the source and home in on an undeniably less “West-centred” perspective than usual.
Columnists from three partner European dailies – Le Monde, die Süddeutsche Zeitung and The Guardian – have contributed to this picture. International experts help to unravel its complex history and the geopolitical stakes down the road. Last but not least, we also called press photographers and newspaper illustrators to the witness stand.
At the end of the day, the goal is to understand a decade in Iraq, enlightened by the people who made it happen.
This project ties in with the series that started with Afghanistan in 2011, which you can enjoy (or enjoy again) on our website.
The nine sections
Things seen. We asked a woman director, Katia Jarjoura, to tell us about “her” Iraq in a series of “pillboxes” that captured the moment in and around Baghdad. These 10 snapshots add up to the story of her month-long stint in Iraq in 2013.
Iraq, my country. Iraq through the eyes and lenses of seasoned or starting-out young directors. They each share their own take on their country, and allow us to see common Iraqis and their remarkable testimonies.
Trip diary. A 10-episode, commentary-free road movie by a French-Iraqi journalist Feurat Alani who travelled that country from North to South.
Images of Iraq. The principle is simple: 5 Iraqi photographers and 5 foreign photographers tell us about 10 snapshots from their files, providing 100 living angles adding up to a 360° perspective.
In exile. They left their country to start their lives anew across the world. We met these “Iraqis afar” and brought back 10 portraits of men and women with troubled stories.
Iraq 2.0. Did Wikileaks change the course of Iraq’s history? How is the country that invented writing living with the 2.0 revolution today? That is the question we try to answer.
The newspaper kiosk. Our partner newspapers Le Monde (France), The Guardian (UK) and Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) provided a series of articles spanning the decade from 2003 to 2013 in Iraq.
Pen strokes. A great drawing is worth more than a bad speech and a good old platitude beats a poor presentation. 10 caricature artists from around the world tell us about 10 years of Iraqi news.
Background. Interviews with experts, articles and letters are just about everything you need to present Iraq and its history? The goal is not to say everything there is to say: it is to provide the keys to understand a complicated picture. That is our message here.