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Kuwait’s visual artists document brutal invasion, mark anniversary

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti visual artists continued for years to commemorate their country’s liberation anniversary with works documenting and depicting the brutal Iraqi invasion. Under the voluntary (February 26) committee, aptly named after the date of liberation, the nation’s visual artists gather on several occasions to share their stories through art to remind people of the heroics of the Kuwaiti people during one of the country’s darkest periods.

Speaking to KUNA, A’nbar Waleed – a visual artist and lecturer at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts – affirmed that the invasion had helped sharpen his loyalty to Kuwait and consequently this was reflected in the art he produced. The apprehensive nature of the invasion made art related to this period very dark and emotive, he said, adding that this approach shifted after liberation.

Late father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah and visual artist Waleed Sarab.

A’nbar indicated that the artistic movement post-invasion saw it paramount to depict the harrowing experience Kuwaitis went through despite getting rid of the occupiers, but mixed feeling of sorrow and hope in the art was an interesting balance that brought in solemn reminders of loving the land people live in.

Similarly, member of the teaching staff at the institute and former POW Waleed Sarab affirmed that he was overjoyed with liberation, noting that his participation in the 1991 exhibition (February 26: the pain and the hope) in Kuwait was solely focused on depicting the pain felt by Kuwait’s POWs. Sarab stressed that though his imprisonment was painful, he held on to hope, reflecting that memory in 14 works of art during the exhibition. – KUNA

An apprehensive painting – depicting a man following the news during the Iraqi invasion and hoping for freedom.
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