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The Iraq Photo Archive is a platform created as part of Basil Al-Rawi’s practice-based PhD research project at the School of Simulation and Visualisation at the Glasgow School of Art.

Basil Al-Rawi is a visual artist who works with photography, moving images, and simulation, creating works concerned with the landscapes of memory, identity, and politics. 

This study is entitled: Recomposing the archive: remediating memories of Iraqi diaspora with archive photography, oral history, and Virtual Reality.

This practice-led research adopts a participatory design approach to produce a series of immersive visual artworks. Collaborating with Iraqi diaspora in the UK, Ireland and Europe, primarily 1st generation Iraqis who have emigrated since the 1950s and their descendants, the researcher is curating an online archive of personal photographs and audio-visual accounts of memories surrounding those photographic moments. The researcher intends to explore the re-composition of these photographs and memories within Virtual Reality experiences. This interactive experience will be a figurative and virtual home for these photographs and memories, and aims to create a platform to convey the narratives of Iraqi diaspora to the wider community. The methodology is designed so that Iraqi diaspora can populate the archive with images of their choice and have the opportunity narrate their individual stories. This research also experiments with methods of remediating archival photographs and oral histories within Virtual Reality experiences.

The first stage of this research project is this online photo archive, which will be populated by the images you submit.

These images will form a unique archive of vernacular photographs from Iraq. At the end of the research project (end of 2021), decisions will be made about the future preservation and custodianship of the archive. You will be contacted (if you have consented and provided your details) about your photograph(s) continuing to be part of the whatever form the archive takes in the future. 

The second stage of the research project will be a series of oral history interviews with those who wish to take part.

After this, the researcher will create a series of Virtual Reality simulations based on photographs and interviews.

The final stage will be sharing these Virtual Reality simulations with participants. 
Your consent will be asked at every stage of this project, and you are free to withdraw your participation at any stage.

If you are interested and would like to take part in this research project, please consider submitting a photograph here

If you have any questions or require more information about this study, please contact me here.

This study complies with GSA ethics policy, which can be read here

This study is funded with the support of the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities. 

Thank you,

Basil Al-Rawi
PhD Researcher,

School of Simulation and Visualisation,

The Glasgow School of Art


* If this study has harmed you in any way or if you wish to make a complaint about the conduct of the study you can contact GSA using the details below for further advice and information:

Dr Matthieu Poyade,

Research Fellow and MSc Pathway Leader - Lead Supervisor
School of Simulation and Visualisation,

The Glasgow School of Art
+44 (0) 141 566 1497

Prof. Steve Love

Senior Researcher,

School of Simulation and Visualisation

The Glasgow School of Art, 
+44 (0) 141 566 1462

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