I Want A Nation!

Maroa-Isabell Al-Sahlani

Youth, Making up 60% of Iraq’s 40 million people, are hardly represented in its political class- but they rule in the square. Since early October, thousands of Iraqis - men and women, old and young, rich, and poor - have been gathering at Tahrir Square, the hub of mass anti-government protests, and its surrounding parks and buildings in the heart of Baghdad. The massive participation in the protests across Iraq brought a strong sense of belonging and pride for Iraqis. In Baghdad, Tahrir square has become a smaller Iraq where people are creating a collective community, healing their wounds, re-claiming their national identities, and re-writing their current history beyond sectarianism, chaos, divisions and fears.
I Want A Nation! is a visual communication project. Using typography, illustration, and photography it expresses the voices of Iraqi youth. The outcomes of this project were a newspaper, posters and ticket designs, 2 publications “Cables”, and “Woven Reeds” and finally a website to host the online exhibition.

Artist biography

As an Iraqi youth myself I felt a personal responsibility to document these historic moments. I travelled to Iraq during my last year of university for 2 weeks to partake. Through observation, research, interviews and discussions with the protesters I was able to understand their motivations. Although dangerous it was fulfilling.
I’m an interdisciplinary storyteller with a background in Graphic Design and Illustration. I have an interest in photojournalism and reportage illustration. I aspire to develop a bridge between the Middle Eastern and Western design world.