The Guardian

I’ve written for various sections of the Guardian, both in the newspaper and online.

Party on! Chilcot Inquiry inspires UK’s newest festival

Rabab Ghazoul at the Iraq pavilion, 2015 Venice Biennale. Photo: Mathias Depardon/Ruya Foundation
Rabab Ghazoul at the Iraq pavilion, 2015 Venice Biennale. Photo: Mathias Depardon/Ruya Foundation

Rabab Ghazoul freely admits that an inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the invasion of a foreign country may not be most people’s dream festival theme. But, after a brief wobble that made her wonder “what could be more tedious”, her Chilcot festival is now taking shape – in contrast to the seemingly never-ending wait for the report on the UK’s role in Iraq.

“I want to use the Chilcot inquiry as a springboard for collaborations and artworks,” says the Cardiff-based, Iraq-born artist. “I want to open dialogues across different fields – between a journalist and a live artist, or an ex-politician and a composer. I want to create a space that’s truly open.”

While the three-day event is still in the early planning stages, fellow artists Jeremy Deller and Doug Fishbone, comedian Simon Munnery and singer Helen Chadwick have already signed up. But Ghazoul’s ambitions reach far beyond the arts. “I’d love to include people like Clare Short, Glenda Jackson, the former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix,” she says. “I like the idea of a culture festival that doesn’t take art as its starting point, but instead takes a heavy, stuffy inquiry about something we all feel pretty disillusioned about.”

Read more at www.theguardian.com/artanddesign
Originally published 19 August 2015 

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