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

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


This practice-led research adopts a participatory design approach to produce a series of emotionally-resonant immersive visual artworks. Collaborating with Iraqi diaspora in the UK, Ireland and Europe, specifically 1st generation Iraqis who emigrated since the 1950s and their descendants, the researcher wants to curate 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 stories into Virtual Reality simulations. The simulations will aim to convey the hidden histories and narratives of Iraqi diaspora to the wider community. This research seeks to enhance Virtual Reality experiences of the past to create a rich emotional connection, and perhaps foster alternative narratives of present-day Iraq.

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

© 2020 Iraq Photo Archive // Basil Al-Rawi

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