Jay Ramesh

For a better tomorrow / لغدٍ أفضل

About the artist: Jay Ramesh is a senior double majoring in Public Policy, and Peace War & Defense, and minoring in History.

About the piece: For a Better Tomorrow / لغدٍ أفضل

My painting is about Iraq. I painted the flag of Iraq imposed on an outline of the country to represent unity and a hope that Iraq can one day be liberated of violence and corruption, and that the country can develop and bring prosperity to its citizens. Using a calligraphy pen fashioned out of a reed stalk, I wrote the words “ لغدٍ أفضل ” which translate to “For a Better Tomorrow”. The work expresses hope that Iraq can rebuild after four decades of war, violence, and suffering and build a better future for new generations of Iraqis.

I was inspired to make this work after the July protests this year in Iraq. Many people thought that the Tishreen movement and the protests of 2019 would bring about democratization and government accountability to a region that has, historically, been starved of both. However, visions of a peaceful, more accountable Iraq went from a possible reality to nothing more than a dream. After protests broke out in Baghdad in July, leading to more violence, I decided to paint my piece as a representation of the dreams of millions of Iraqis. It’s a dream of a future where Sunnis and Shi’ites, Kurds and Arabs, and the present and past can all coexist within an Iraq that brings peace, stability, and prosperity to its citizens: a hope of a better tomorrow.

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