The site-specific artwork “Divide and Conquer,” created by Iraqi-Canadian artist Sundus Abdul Hadi, is on display at Usdan University Center. The digitally-altered image, which shows hints of College Row and Olin Library, aims to have students reconsider the space they occupy.
The walls in the artworks are located at the Al Mustansiriya University campus in Baghdad and photographed by Iraqi photographer and student Ahmad Mousa. There, the walls completely surround his campus, an imposed barrier that makes mobility difficult, and a daily reminder of the precarious security situation in the country. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S. and allied forces, “blast walls” were erected all over Baghdad, physically separating neighborhoods and creating divisions in the social fabric of the city. The title refers to the military strategy of divide and conquer, but also implies the will to conquer the challenges and divisions we face in our every day lives, in any society.
The display is supported by Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan. Hira Jafri, evaluation fellow and assistant in the Center for the Arts, also assisted with the exhibit’s photography.