ISIS in Mosul
By 2014, the terrorist organisation ISIS had captured large swathes of land across Syria and Iraq, including the famed Iraqi city of Mosul in the midst of historic Mesopotamia, ‘the cradle of civilisation’.
Mosul Drone Footage 6Al-Ghad Radio
When ISIS came to Mosul, they brought with them cultural terrorism dressed as iconoclasm as they attempted to remake or erase history, destroying historic artefacts and sites associated with ‘heretical’ religious minorities (Christians, Yazidis) and Muslims to impose its puritanical vision of Islam.
Al-Najafy Street (2017) by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio
This cultural and ethno-sectarian cleansing sought to erase the traces of centuries of sectarian coexistence.
Intermixture (2018) by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio
Destruction of Cultural Heritage
ISIS propagated a destructive approach that devalued the past, attempting to strip Mosul’s multitude of historical sites and legacies of the cultural and national identity.
Remains of Lamassu Sculpture in Cultural Museum of MosulAl-Ghad Radio
Al-Ghad Radio, Station of the City
In the same year that ISIS destroyed Mosul Museum, the Al-Ghad (Tomorrow) FM radio station was founded by a group of Maslawis. The radio provided the city with unbiased news and support during the dark years of ISIS’s occupation and media blackout. ISIS had laid siege to communications but Al-Ghad helped Mosul residents take back their voice.
Alghad hosting a lecture addressing the history and culture of Mosul (2019-01)Al-Ghad Radio
From Liberation to Recovery
After Iraqi forces liberated Mosul in 2017, Al-Ghad’s coverage shifted to the city’s recovery.
The Cultural Museum of Mosul, Royal hall, after ISIS destructionAl-Ghad Radio
Al-Ghad recognised the need to rebuild the identity and national pride lost through ISIS’s cultural destruction of Mosul.
The Cultural Museum of MosulAl-Ghad Radio
First Exhibition in the New Mosul
Al-Ghad and the Mosul Artists’ Committee hosted the first event in the Museum since it was destroyed in the occupation of the city.
Young artist from Mosul (2019-01)Al-Ghad Radio
The art exhibition, ‘Return to Mosul’ brought together artistic voices from throughout Iraq and Mosul to tell the story of the occupation and recovery, providing a vision of a brighter, more tolerant future in Mosul.
The exhibition was staged in the old Museum building’s recently restored Royal Wing, as a reminder of the persistence of the human condition, despite political, religious, economic and social strife. The creation and celebration of art, ideas and diversity through social cohesion are direct acts of resistance against the extremist ideology of ISIS, which were brought together in a site that ISIS had sought to erase from the face of Mosul.
People of Mosul attending the exhibition (2019) by Ahmed Al-TaaieAl-Ghad Radio
Bringing the Heart and Soul of Mosul to the World
Al-Ghad collaborated with Google Arts & Culture to bring the Return to Mosul exhibition to the world, sharing the stories of suffering and hardship but also of empathy, togetherness, and hope for the future.
Joy (2019) by Mohammed ThanoonAl-Ghad Radio
Looking to the Past and Future of Mosul
Since the exhibition, Al-Ghad has been working with young people to help develop important skills in innovative technologies; the team held a workshop on VR/AR and 3D printing capabilities.
Virtual Reality Team in Mosul (2020-02)Al-Ghad Radio
The technology is extraordinary for the recreation of lost antiquities and cultural heritage; the re- creations can never replace the irreplaceable, but they can provide inspiration for today’s artists whilst memorialising lost heritage.
A flythrough video tour of the Vintage mosul roomAl-Ghad Radio
Radio Al-Ghad remains a key pillar of strength and support in the city of Mosul, inspiring change and community-led projects to drive the city out of the dark days of ISIS and their legacy of hate and violence.
Graffiti drawing by Photo by Mohammed AbdulhaqAl-Ghad Radio