Art And Culture

Sadeghi Rues Lack of Support for Artworks About War

Sadeghi Rues Lack of Support for Artworks About WarSadeghi Rues Lack of Support for Artworks About War

May 24 marks the liberation of Khorramshahr in Khuzestan. The city, which was ravaged by Iraqi forces during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war (known as the sacred defense in Iran), was re-captured by Iranian troops on that day in 1982, after 578 days of occupation by Iraqi forces.

Artists have created artworks relating to the sacred defense, but veteran painter Habibollah Sadeghi rues “the insufficient number of significant works in this arena.”

Sadeghi belongs to a generation which has kept the memories of the war days alive through artworks. “Unfortunately, there is no program to support artists who wish to honor the sacrifices made by many innocent people to save their land,” he said.

Pointing to the war museums in foreign countries, Sadeghi noted that they take the issue of war more seriously. “Russia, Vietnam, Spain, the US, and many other nations reflect the impact of war on their countries in their museums through artworks of different media.”

The painter criticized cultural officials “for not valuing artists who lived during the war and thus have experienced the tragic events personally.”

Officials gather artists every year to commemorate the day (liberation of Khorramshahr). This is mere propaganda without any essence. “Artists who have seen those days may not live tomorrow, but there is no plan to make use of their experience and art, and support creative works proportionate to one of the most epic events in contemporary history of Iran,” he lamented.

Sadeghi, a contemporary of master painters like Mahmoud Farshchian, Hannibal Alkhas, and Parviz Tanavoli, has created several artworks, mostly on the subject of the eight-year long Iran-Iraq war.

He asserted that more museums are needed to showcase artworks on the subject and said, “I feel that cultural officials see no necessity to record the history of the country through the medium of art. There are individuals whose works convey the sad moments of our hard days during the war, but where should the works be displayed?”

He said ‘The Sacred Defense Museum’ in Tehran has been founded to fill the gap. However, “it is just at the beginning and a more comprehensive plan is required to meet the demand.”

Sadeghi (born in 1957, Tehran) holds an MA degree in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran and has received his PhD in art research from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran.

Caption: The painting titled ‘Martyrdom’ by the artist.