Report on La’Onf: Inspiration from Iraqi Artists

Report on La’Onf: Inspiration from Iraqi Artists

Dear james m,

http://www.laonf.net/

As we continue to receive updates from the La’Onf Iraqi Nonviolence Group during their third annual Week of Nonviolence, we would like to dedicate this report to the heart-full voice of Iraqi artists and poets. Movements around the world and throughout time have been led, accompanied and inspired by the imagination and beauty of musicians, singers, dancers, poets, painters, sculptors, actors, authors and many others who find creative expression for the essential yearnings of humanity.

Below is a message from Bilal, a member of the La’Onf organizing group in Baghdad, sent before the opening of their Art Exhibit on Monday, October 13. We hope these words will ground us in our values as we work to support those struggling for peace and freedom in Iraq.

In the words of our own US activist-poet David Smith-Ferri, of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Direct Aid Iraq, when reflecting on the La’Onf efforts in Iraq:

"The promise of supporting this kind of grassroots effort is one that we can believe in without cynicism because it isn’t predicated on the lies of American superiority and the efficacy of violence, and it doesn’t gloss over challenging realities.

It is one that can feed our imagination and our best instincts. It is one that we can stake our future on."

***

To all who call for peace In the group of La’Onf Iraqi Nonviolence Group,

As I am writing to you…a few moments before the peace sun rises…and my heart is shaking from love and belief in our issue…

After a few moments after the beginning of Monday morning, our peace doves will fly and color every spot on earth.

The LaOnf group of Baghdad will start our art exhibition as one of the activities during the third week…

In spite of all that has happened to us from oppression and bad memories since our childhood…after our dreams get old…our journey will continue…our peace doves will fly to contain all the epics of oppression.

The oppression that we lived in… and in spite of the practices of the occupation and the powers of darkness…and the curfew on people…. I wonder what the artist draws in such moments.

And in these moments the worst kinds of human oppression are being committed…and I wonder what we did during the curfew…and how we faced all of these moments "under the sound of bullets…"

In the middle of the mothers’ screaming and weeping over the loss of the most dear things for them…and the sounds of tanks and fighter jets that destroy our dreams and ruin our conversations…The answer…we draw…and we color…

Today we went out to scream in our loudest voice, and we chant the songs of love…that we live in peace like other nations on this earth…and our scream is a number of paintings that beat with the will of life.

What we long for…a life that is full of dignity, freedom, and peace, and in this exhibition we illuminate for you thirty paintings that elaborate on the meanings of nonviolence and peace.

It is an experiment of Iraqi youth who lived through and survived all of the events of killings and destruction…youth from different colors and places…they send a message of peace to all the nations of the earth…

My greetings to all of the activists,

Bilal, The group Artists Without Restraints, On the night of activity

[Peaceful Tomorrows would like to acknowledge and express deep gratitude to Arwa Ibrahim of Direct Aid Iraq and her parents Nagham Al-Yaqoubi and Yasir Ibrahim, for their careful and loving work in translating from the original Arabic.]

***

More information

Updates in Arabic, Kurdish and English are on the La’Onf website at

www.laonf.net

Photographs from Iraq (as well as from people across the United States who support nonviolence in Iraq) can be seen on the La’Onf Solidarity Flickr Photo Gallery. http://www.flickr.com/photos/laonfsolidarity

Photos, video and media updates can also be found at the Peaceful Tomorrows website http://peacefultomorrows.org/

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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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