Mindanao Times

Iraq revolution will be `dramatized’


THE POPS of gunfire rang out across the protest camp in Iraq’s capital. Blood-stained bodies writhed on the pavement, and smoke from burning tyres smarted the captive audience’s eyes.

But for once in recent weeks, the scenes playing out in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square were a dramatisat­ion, put on by actors who travelled 600 kilometres (400 miles) from the port city of Basra.

To an audience in tears, they acted out protesters railing against corruption and the lack of jobs, and filming with smartphone­s to broadcast the rallies live on social media.

Suddenly, the actors crumpled to the ground, motionless, under a volley of tear gas canisters and live rounds.

Each actor took turns recounting the story of his “martyr,” weaving through the stunned spectators and occasional­ly folding into one of their hands an Iraqi tricolour labelled with the names of towns where dozens have died.

The south has been particular­ly bloody over the last week, pushing the two-month toll to nearly 430 dead and 20,000 wounded -- the vast majority of them protesters.

In a time of such hope and heartbreak, art is the answer, says 30-year-old Ali Issam, one of the actors.

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