The Remains of Iraq

When we were very young, my Mother would put this type of images before us, making us follow how the snakes were intertwined with our fingers to make us understand the intricacy of the patterns created to play riddles with us.

She would be using reproductions of the imagery the Vikings did a 1000 years ago. Not that they had that many snakes around here back then either, but their art was influenced by what they had seen when traveling to Byzantia and doing trade or going ashore with less friendly intent on the shores of the Black Sea....

Khalid Wad Albaih, The Remains of Iraq, June 10, 2014.

Each player in the entanglement here has its reasons for disguising itself as a riddle, hiding behind the others, declaring those to be the guilty parties, such as the blue of Uncle Sam, the green of the Islamists, the oil as the constant accomplice each side seeks to win over, while all are partaking in the same game spelled out by the bones. All aspects of ISIS taking over Mosul into just the one image, a Khartoon made on the day of the invasion by Khalid Wad Albaih

For the past weeks, whenever I have come across another debate on the topic, this is the inner image I keep returning to. This is how and when imagery create our inner understanding, giving us the elements of a situation while not at all pretending to point to an easy solution. Or rather, the elements of the conflict are the elements needed to solve it, all of whom we now see before us.

The Khartoon shown is courtesy of Khaild Wad Albaih and must not be reproduced without his permission.

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