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Reflection: Iraq exhibition

Posted on by Ben Hodson

British people have ideas, pre-conceptions and stereotypes about what people are like in Iraq and the Middle East.  Equally people who live in these areas have ideas, pre-conceptions and stereotypes about what British people are like. I aimed to show some common humanity and the beauty and dignity to be found in every culture and society. There are three collections of work I exhibited in Iraq; Firstly, a project called Lutopia, which is reproductions of large scale photomontages, depicting everyday scenes from Luton in the UK.  Secondly, the portraits of everyday people living in the town.  Thirdly, there are prints showing some of the exhibitions and events in the UK, that showcased work by Kurdish and Arab artists and photographers.  The project attempts to challenge sensationalist or traditional art responses to war and war zones. I tried to address the cross cultural notion of the “other” or foreigner by showing common humanity.