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This artist colors the walls of Baghdad

The ultra-concrete city has regained its colors thanks to this artist. About fifteen colorful murals paying tribute to architects, poets, painters and intellectuals from Iraq and elsewhere have blossomed in the heart of the capital.

Wijdan al-Majed, rather used to exhibit her acrylic paintings and watercolors in galleries restricted to the public, decided to dedicate her art to all those who walk in the street. The artist applies her artistic convictions on the walls of Baghdad: to open art to all social categories, to bring joy and color to places which suffered from years of violence and to mark the trace of personalities who have fought for peace and progress on the walls.

An initiative to revive the beauty of Iraq

The project was launched by the municipality of Baghdad less than a year ago. The mayor of the city, Alaa Maan, aspired to bring “beauty to the city, bring art to the street, eliminate the color of gray, the color of dust.” The luminous hues used by Wijdan al-Majed break with the surrounding scenery of concrete and electric cables.

The 49-year-old artist, a teacher at the Baghdad Fine Arts Faculty, has quickly become accepted and appreciated by passers-by who slow down to observe her atypical activity. Armed with her scaffolding, brushes and paint pots, Wijdan al-Majed roams the streets of the city to draw portraits and scenes of daily and traditional Iraqi life. Mother Teresa, the Iraqi poet Muzaffar al-Nawab or Jawad Salim, one of the fathers of modern Iraqi art, are already imprinted in the walls of the city, and others should soon join this list.

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Published on 2 May 2022