The video below was compiled as as the contribution of the Iraqi artists Ali Al-Ftlawi and Wathiq Al-Ameri to our postcolonial project COLAB Copenhagen. Ali and Wathiq, who work as a performance duo under the name URNAMO, tell the story of their friendship that developed since they were six years old, and their adventurous travels from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq via Jordan, Sudan and Libya to Switzerland where they live now. They describe their work as a random archive, autobiographical and cultural at the same time.
About the Artists
Ali Al-Ftlawi (Iraq) and Wathiq Al-Ameri (Iraq) reflect their personal history in their work. They present a view from exile, combining a critical perspective with the hope of returning to their homeland. Their art explores issues of confrontation and war. Friends since childhood, both performers received a classical education at the University of Fine Arts of Baghdad. Several years ago they decided to escape the regime of Saddam Hussein and embarked on an odyssey. Using false papers, the two crossed the Iraq border into Jordan where they reproduced classical and Arabic paintings until they collected enough money to reach Sudan and from there traveled by truck through the Sahara to Libya and then finally to Switzerland. In Switzerland they studied at the F+F Schule für Kunst und Mediendesign Zurich and formed the studio group Urnamo to share ideas and develop their art.
Here is a website with photos and descriptions of their performances.