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AbstractAbstract Past and present docu-drama are mostly favoured by Iraqis, yet those tackling topics that were tabooed since Iraq became a republic in July 1958; such as the assassination of the Iraqi royal family, the immigration of Arab Jews and British and German espionage and competition over Iraq, are most popular. These themes are presented through depicting the life-stories of famous singers such as the Iraqi Jewish singer Salima Murad, who refused to immigrate to Israel and remained in the country, and the Iraqi Christian singer Afifa Iskander, who was involved in espionage because of her love story with General Bakr Sidqi, an Iraqi general who in 1936 led a coup d’etat. Both soaps are not much concerned with the social and artistic lives of the singers as they are with the political details. The singers are exploited one way or another and the audience are amazed to watch these previously banned details on TV and at their leisure. The nostalgia for the “good old days” when Iraq enjoyed a nationalist Arab spirit is revived together with the rejection of the colonialist powers, mixing past and present. The romantic atmosphere is also revived, reminding older generations of the times when singers sang of pure love and yearning for the beloved and the difficulty to meet freely. The difficulty to meet in the past can also trigger similar feelings in the younger generations, who are mostly prevented from meeting their loved ones by the daily explosions all over Iraq. This paper explores Nostalgia, as diversely understood and interpreted, both in its relationship to the present and in its political implications. The paper constructs Iraq’s post 2003 drama and its argument, through the discussion of the temporalities of discourse, nostalgia and memory pointed out in Susannah Radstone’s The Sexual Politics of Time (2007) and in Birgite Beumers’ Nikita Mikhalkov: Between Nostalgia and Nationalism (2005).
CitationWitwit, M. (2014) 'Nostalgia in Iraq's Post 2003 Drama' 'Future of Nostalgia in the Middle East conference. Held by the University of Copenhagen June 2014
TypeConference papers, meetings and proceedings
DescriptionConference paper presented at the 'Future of Nostalgia in the Middle East. Held by the University of Copenhagen June 2014
SponsorsFunded by the University of Copenhagen-Leverhulme Trust-The University of Bedfordshire
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