Black Spring

Two women reconstruct a forgotten history of a ruined country. The city of Baghdad, turned into a museum, raided and looted under the guise of liberation.

One of the often-forgotten casualties of the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq is the Iraqi National Museum, which was looted during the chaos of the early stages of the war. Many artifacts from the museum, representing Iraq’s cultural heritage and preserved for thousands of years, were stolen or destroyed in few hours. One stolen artifact was a 3500-year-old statue of Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of fertility, love, war and sex.

Ishtar is also the name of the woman at the centre Black Spring, a story that unfolds in the aftermath of the war. Through Ishtar’s friendship with a western writer, Black Spring explores the relationship between East and West in the wake of violence of the Iraq war. The story addresses ideas of colonialism, the questionable motives of occupying forces and the creation of historical facts during times of violence. Black Spring also takes issue with the recent Arab Spring movement with the question: who truly benefits from the region’s various uprisings, East or West?

Sponsors and Acknowledgements

Text and directing: Hazim Kamaledin
Translation: Susan Sami Jameel
Redaction: Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Play: Nada Homsi
Song, dance: Margaret Bárdos
Multimedia: Dwight Storring, Fabien De Lathauwer & Gary Kirkham
Scenography: Bert Gillet
Stage manager: Terre Chartrand