Dia Al-Azzawi - Taking A Stand: Activism Through Graphic Design
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Dia al-Azzawi is a renown Iraqi contemporary artist whose graphic design work is largely undocumented. Dia al-Azzawi’s multifarious involvement with graphic design — encompassing a rich output of illustration, publication and print design as well as a variety of promotional, curatorial and critical activities — is unmistakably a form of activism: a fervent expression of al-Azzawi’s social, political and artistic position and an energetic endeavour to bring about change. His interest in literature and poetry manifests throughout his career in projects ranging from publications in collaboration with authors to formal explorations of image and text. Socio-political concerns, historical testimony, and the question of identity are also prominent themes throughout his practice. This book outlines al-Azzawi’s graphic activism, focusing on the period between the mid-1960’s and the mid-1980’s. It charts some key episodes from his journey in graphic design, from his beginnings in his native Baghdad to his later work at the Iraqi Cultural Center in London. It presents his prolific design output and demonstrates the potential of a modern Arab visual language rooted in the ancient cultural legacies of the Middle East.