بعد غياب عدة سنوات عن النشر، يعود الشاعر الكبير أحمد مطر إلى بيته الأول القبس برائعة شعرية جديدة، تحاكي راهننا العربي الموجع، وضع فيها نقاط الحق على حروف الحقيقة بأسلوبه الشجيّ المعتاد، وإن بشعرية متفرِّدة تعتقت بأسى الغربة الطويلة وشجن الأيام المتشابهة على مدى السنوات الأخيرة.
في هذه القصيدة يتألق أحمد مطر من جديد، وهو يحمل مشرط القصيد، لينكأ الجراح العربية بمهارته القديمة، وخبراته المتراكمة، ويخاطب الجميع بشجاعته المعهودة وحسمه المعروف ووضوحه المباشر، من دون أن يقع في فخ التقريرية، أو يفقد روح الشعر ومعينه العذب، الذي ميّز ديوان مطر ولافتاته الشعرية الشائكة، بجبروتها اللغوي وموسيقاها الصاخبة، منذ بداياته وبدايتها على صفحات القبس قبل عقود من الزمان.
رُسُلُ التَّخلُّفِ في بلادِ الضّادِ
يَستنكرونَ «خِلافةَ البغدادي»
ويُحَوقِلونَ تَهيُّباً وتَعجُّباً
ممّا رأوا من جُرمهِ المُتمادي
فكأنّما هذا الخليفةُ «مأتَمٌ»
وكأنّما هُم «فرقةُ الإنشادِ»!
وَكأنَّما الدُّوَلُ التي في ظِلِّهِمْ
أُنشِئْنَ مِن وَردٍ ومِن أورادِ!
وكأنَّ مَن فيهِنَّ لَيسَ طَريدَةً
مَنذورَةً لِحَبائِلِ الصَّيادِ!
Iman Issa is an Egyptian multimedia artist who was born in Cairo in 1979. Iman graduated in 2001 with a BFA from the American University in Cairo. Between 2001 and 2005 she participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Cairo and was able to establish herself within the local arts scene. In 2005, she enrolled in New York’s Columbia University and completed an MFA two years later. She currently resides and works between NYC and Cairo.
Iman’s work is characterized by its collectively minimalistic nature; collectively is meant here that her work doesn’t present a single minimalist object solely, which often generates a wide range of perceptions and understanding with different viewers. Instead, Iman’s work collectively and creatively binds several objects perceptually together, using different expressions and materials that force the viewer into associating these simple objects yet highly complex in the meanings, experiences, and emotions they hold together. Triptychs are a recurring presentation in several of Iman’s work, and she presents them in a manner that is very unique and representative of her personal approach by combining objects from different mediums.
The strength in her artistic approach lies within that clear peace and confidence she has with dealing with a wide variety of mediums, often very foreign to her previous artistic experiences and approaches. Generally, Issa’s work is very contemporary and abstract in its themes, emphasizing the importance of the visual aspects, however, she also tries to solidify such elements by tackling themes on global politics, identity politics, and spatial identification.
White/Western queer spaces are very uncomfortable to me for many reasons, but probably most importantly is the hyper-sexualized and lascivious narrative they try to depict the queer identity through, and often forcing it to be adapted in order for me/you to be considered *really* queer; suggesting that for you to be queer you must exhibit and follow a very active sex life. Being sexually active is definitely important for some and it is of course beautiful when it is consensual, and for some is the core for many (not all) queer identities, but it is not and I would not want it to be the sole and primary characteristic that determines whether I can identify with LGBTQI or not. I am more comfortable in spaces that do not frame my identity as a queer around sex, lust, and lasciviousness; and again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with all of those.
Iraqis and non-Iraqi need to understand and accept that most of the Iraqi society during the period of the dictators regime (especially after 1982) were Ba’athists on paper. With the exception of being an opposition, who often were either exiled, prisoned, executed, or miraculously survived; Iraqis other only option was declaring that they were apolitical “didn’t subscribe to any party”, and that by itself maintained them on the Ministry of Interior blacklist; in fact, many of them during the Iran-Iraq war were sent to different areas on the battlefront because they were always suspected. With all that being said, many of those who remained apolitical eventually subscribed to the Ba’athist political machine due to some selective privileges they were able to individually acquire, such as promotions in the military and educational scholarships abroad (for those who were lucky enough to receive theres during a period of no-war, since during war-periods man power was forced to remain in Iraq).
What I am saying is that when people brand someone as a Ba’athist in a post-2003 discourse in reference to their role during the previous era, they seem to ignore the aforementioned points with regards to Iraqis who lived under a Ba’athist regime. Many Iraqi politicians in power now were Ba’athists themselves, yet they don’t hesitate to accuse any opposition of being a Ba’athist. I will give you an example just to solidify this point; the current spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Unit of the Iraqi Military, Qassem Atta, was a high ranking officer during the previous regime in the Political Guidance unit; the unit responsible for reporting those members of the military who exhibited a lack of faith in Ba’athism. Many other examples can be seen across the political spectrum, and ironically many within the Da’wa party (opposition party, and Maliki’s previous party) lol. Iraqis for the most part who lived under the Ba’athist regime were part of the Ba’athist political and militaristic machine themselves because those elements occupied and guided their lives in general, whether they were forced into out of fear or they firmly believed in it; under optimal circumstances that distinction can be made, but realistically it shouldn’t because it cannot be measured or documented, and this is exactly the problem with the de-ba’athification committee and laws that can easily be manipulated to accuse any Iraqi by it, including those politicians now because the whole Iraqi society was Ba’ath-ized willingly or not.
All in all fuck Ba’athism, fuck the Da’wa, fuck all the political parties functioning in Iraq now and down with imperialism.