Peace for Luton, news article

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Extract from news article:

Luton artist, Ben Hodson and creative director of ATP Media, has recently returned from an incredible trip to Iraq.  The 26 year old travelled with fellow director and storyteller Ian Rowlands, 49, to Iraq last week.  The purpose of the trip was somewhat unusual.

With the help of local Iraqi artists, they literally painted the side of a mountain on the site of a dramatic peace project on the turn of the millennium, created by internationally renowned artist, Ismail Khayat. Ben explains “When Ismail initially did the project it was about bringing peace to two opposing Kurdish factions in the north of the country” “It appears that his intervention as an artist kicked off the peace process and he is widely credited with being instrumental in bringing the two opposing sides together. 

Ben is the creative Director of ATP Media, who as a team are working on a documentary to tell some of these stories and many more from Iraq.  The film will look to show how creativity and people can help to bring about positive change, even in the most difficult of situations. 

With this dramatic re-enactment and performance the agency hopes to use it as a symbol for peace for the country, the region and the world. “Art is not the answer, but it’s a great start.  It starts dialogue and helps people engage with difficult subject matters in a way that can bring hope and be constructive.” says Ian. During the trip Ben exhibited a solo exhibition of artwork that was made in Luton, UK. I am passionate about showing the beauty and common humanity in every culture, ours is no different.  “As we have exhibited a number of Iraqi exhibitions in England and Wales, it is great to show British people and culture to the Iraqi people themselves."