تركيب Tarkib

"Tarkib is bringing new art to Iraq that will change the society." Dr. Balasim Mohammed (2016)

Tarkib is a platform for the research, training, production and presentation of contemporary art where the pressing questions of our time can be openly formulated and discussed. Dedicated to promoting emerging and mid-career Iraqi artists, Tarkib is a collective that unite artists and cultural practitioners from different art disciplines, ages and souls.

Tarkib's mission is to introduce contemporary art in the form of artivism (artistic activism) to Iraq. Tarkib artists incorporate human rights and climate themes into their work, raising awareness and stimulate discussion and promote an open dialogue on issues such as climate change, rights of girls and women, migration, child labor, questions of identity and culture of remembrance, and many other humanistic and existentialist questions.

Its vision is to build up a contemporary identity in Iraq visualized via artistic expression to achieve social, cultural, environmental and political change.

Artistically speaking, Tarkib's purpose is to talk about the content, form, and function of art and its role in society.

Socially speaking, Tarkib aims to support the Iraqi youth to express themselves and to encourage social cohesion among the youth, especially women, vulnerable individuals and underrespresented segments of the Iraqi society. In Iraq, where the civic space is shrinking, and under systematic attack, Tarkib continues to provide a rare outlet for the Iraqi community to be a beacon of hope, a source of cultural and social awareness and a safe place.

Tarkib also engages ordinary Iraqi citizens, by making art and human rights topics accessible through its many open and free activities.

Since 2015, the collective is organizing the annual Tarkib Baghdad Contemporary Arts Festival and the annual Baghdad Walk, a series of workshops that culminates in a group exhibition in the public realm of Baghdad. Since 2017, the collective runs the one-of-the-kind creative art centre Bait Tarkib in Karada-Baghdad with a broad and high-quality program of artistic and cultural events, trainings and workshops.

With its new program line CYCLE - Collaborative Laboratory and Exhibition - Tarkib is seeking to provide public access to comprehensive information on Iraq's environmental, inequality and urban planning topics.

Tarkib is registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Iraq under the name Tarkib Organization for Arts and Culture.


Visual Artist

TABI entered Tarkib world in 2018 when she was studying at the College of Fine Art. She found something different and started to explore another world of what art can be. Art for her is a tool to express what she feels.

Her early work was characterized by human figures surrounded by a chaos of wires addressing the visual pollution of the city and how it effects unconsciously on humans. Her feelings are deep as her message in each single painting is.

In summer 2020, she developed the character Magrood, a figure in geometric forms, who represents the disadvantaged, the unfortunate and the forgotten who neither give benefit nor cause harm to society or themselves. Magrood is searching, Magrood is watching, Magrood is trying to analyze and understand. Her character Magrood is still surrounded by cables and wires and therefore effected by visual pollution.

TABI (b. 1998) lives and works in Baghdad. In 2020, she graduated from the Visual Art Department, College of Fine Art, Baghdad University.

Jumana Ridha

Visual Artist

Jumana Ridha is painting and drawing since her early childhood and she loves to express her emotions through singing. She did not study art. She studied politics instead. But, she found herself in art. She entered Tarkib early, in 2016. Her first room installation “Khora”, presented on the occasion of 2. TARKIB Baghdad Contemporary Arts Festival 2016, she transferred the visitors into the daily life world of an Iraqi woman. The feelings of Iraqi women are often her inspirations and subjects addressed in her art. Other topics are related to experiences of human beings, because Jumana has the capability of empathy, to feel and read other people without that they are saying words.

Jumana Ridha (b. 1993) lives and works in Baghdad. She graduated from the Political Science Department, Baghdad University, in 2015.

Noor Al Waily

Visual Artist

In her paintings Noor Al Waily focuses on topics that narrates women‘s feelings, their suffering and perception within the community. Her paintings are colourful provided with figurative elements and abstract shapes and lines. One repeating element is a bird‘s peak, which blends gently into the overall composition of her art pieces. The eye is an expression for her to create an attention, to open your eye to happenings around you. She is experimenting with mixed media, but the medium of a painting is the centre of her installations.

Noor Al Waily (b. 1989) graduated from the Visual Department of the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University, in 2015. Her professor and supervisor was the pioneer Dr. Balasim Mohammed (1958-2021). Since 2017, she is a member of TARKIB. She currently works as an illustrator at Uruk Newspaper.

Hella Mewis

Art Manager

Hella Mewis (b.1971) has a degree in business administration and is a freelance curator and art manager living and working in Baghdad, Iraq since 2012.

In 2015, she founded together with young Iraqi artists the collective TARKIB and since 2017 she is running the group‘s art center BAIT TARKIB as the artistic director.

In 2014, she started her photo series „City Cartography“. She is documenting the architectural environment of the activities she either is organising or attending. Her series are in black and white to underline the eternalness of the moment.

Since the very beginning of her living in Baghdad, she is investigating Iraqi art. Her current research project is art in public space in Baghdad from 1921 until to the present which will merge into an open source map-based online archive.

Hajer Qusay


Hajer Qusay is a freelance filmmaker. First, she attended the activities of Tarkib as a visitor. In summer 2019, she became a member and presented her video-art „Enforced-Dreams“ on the occasion of „FORB-Collective Exhibition“ in Bait Tarkib.

In her art, be it film, video art, performance or installation, she depicts the feelings and thoughts of women in Iraq, on the one hand. On the other hand she is question social conventions psychology and its effect on each single individual and the Iraqi community in general. She feels she has to talk for others who have not the ability for expression. Her work is an encouragement for women and men to scrutinize and to rehtink.

Atef Al Jaffal

Graphic Designer

Atef Al Jaffal, b. in Baghdad 2000, is a graphic designer, performance artist and sound designer. Since 2018, he is a member of Tarkib and the collective‘s graphic designer and video editor. His works is shaped by an interdisciplinary nature. He often merges his different interests to create something new. His sound composition are playing with design patterns and his designs try to find the ideal composition. His performances are researches, examining psychological experiences and trauma and how to heal these trauma.

Loay Al Hadhary


The sculptor Loay Al Hadhary, b. 1981, lives and works in Baghdad. In 2006, he graduated from the Visual Art Department at the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University and started to work in Al Iraqia TV Channel. Since 2018, he is a member of the artist collective TARKIB.

Loay Al Hadhary does not follow any mainstream thinking or culture, not in his art, not in his life. He prefers to use unusual materials to create his sculptures such as fiberglas. His figures are representatives of the society mainly from vulnerable and shelterless groups. Therefore, the subjects he is addressing are socio-critical and deep in thinking. Art for Loay is like a life cycle. If he would stop doing it, he would die.

Hussain Al Harbi


Hussain Al Harbi, b. in Baghdad 1997, is a percussionist and plays in different bands since 2018. He believes in the necessity of changing and correcting the social perspective and the bad stereotypes of percussion instruments and their players. Therefore, he founded his own percussion band SANJAT in 2021. Since 2019, he is a member of Tarkib.

Hussam Mohammed

Visual Artist

Hussam Mohammed, b. in Baghdad 1990, graduated from the visual art department at the College of Fine Art, Baghdad University in 2015. Since 2017, he is a member of the artist collective TARKIB and developed his own distinctive style of creating abstract big-size sculptures. He is using rosty iron as the prefered material and is addressing subjects related to psychological diseases within the Iraqi society. The corrosion effect of iron is for Hussam like the effect of a disease on a human being.

Hussain Muttar

Photographer and Writer

Hussain Muttar, b. in Baghdad 1998, graduated as a civil engineer from the Baghdad University in 2021. He currently works as a freelance writer and translator. Since 2017 he follows his passion to city landscape photography and storytelling. His photographs capture the urban development of the city of Baghdad in the last 100 years, investigate the architect‘s contribution in the past, both international and Iraqi architects, and question the current urban planning of the city. His writings take readers on an imaginary journey. His short novels are both fantastic and based on Iraqi natural history.

Zaid Saad

Visual Artist

Zaid Saad, b. in Baghdad 1991, graduated from the visual art department at the College of Fine Art, Baghdad University in 2015. He is a member and one of the founder of the artist collective TARKIB.

Since 2016, he works intermediate and conceptual. His art pieces focus on subjects related to human rights and emigration from Iraq. He is interested in stamp and stencil technics and combines different material. While in his early works he used moving boxes printed with messages in stencil technics, his new discovery is the material concrete to form his abstract sculptures.

Muhaned Taha

Visual Artist

Muhaned Taha, b. in Baghdad 1991, graduated from the visual art department at the College of Fine Art, Baghdad University in 2016. Since 2017, he is a member of the artist collective TARKIB and is since than one of the active members. He attended all activities of TARKIB as both, an artist and a coordinator.

Muhanad Taha is a painter and specialised in big-size murals. Since 2017, he works in conceptual art. Since 2020, he devoted himself to environmental art presented as performance or installation. He is mainly addressing subjects reflecting the symbiosis between nature and human.

Akram Assam

Theater Director, Performer

Akram Assam, b. in Baghdad 1985, received his Master of Arts from Amsterdam University in 2021. He is one of the founding members of the artist collective Tarkib, which is active since 2015.

Akram Assam's main topic in his theatrical work is the investigation of the impact of war and violence on humans. For him, theater is not fun or just a story, theater can convey knowledge and experience to the audience so that they can understand the world around them more profoundly and holistically.

To achieve this, he devised a new method: collecting real memories about himself and others. They are the foundation of the work, but transformed into a fantasy setting through the use of performance, motion, video, photography and most important, his special lighting design.



On the occasion of 75‭ ‬Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights‭ (‬UDHR‭), ‬this exhibition‭ - ‬a role model for artistic activism and freedom of expression‭ - ‬presents‭  ‬contemporary works by different artists bringing together sculptures‭, ‬installations‭,‬‭ ‬augmented reality‭, ‬narratives‭, ‬videos‭, ‬poster designs‭, ‬photography and performance‭.‬

CYCLE is a collective exhibition and the outcome of a collaborative laboratory where artists‭, ‬designers and cultural practitioners elaborated specific topics and experimented ways of presentations which culminated in an exhibition tackling three major topics‭: ‬Nature‭, ‬Women‭, ‬2003‭. ‬These three elements are closely connected to each other‭. ‬If one link is missing‭, ‬the cycle breaks down‭.‬

CYCLE is a declaration of intent and an invitation to engage‭. ‬It unfolds as a space of gathering‭, ‬in which diverse forms of thinking enhance the understanding of what art can be‭ - ‬artivism‭.‬

CYCLE is a cooperation between Tarkib Organization for Arts‭ & ‬Culture and UNAMI Human Rights Office‭, ‬hosted in the French Institute Baghdad‭.‬

Presented in the French Institute Baghdad from November 23 to 30, 2023

Digital catalogue: https://rb.gy/kyqw84

TARKIB Baghdad Contemporary Arts Festival

TARKIB Baghdad Contemporary Arts Festival is Iraq’s only multi-disciplinary arts festival which takes place on four days every year, in order to connect the audience to the city's contemporary art.

The heart of the festival is the visual art program with a group exhibition dedicated to new multifaceted installations and conceptual artworks from emerging Iraqi artists. Its focus is directed to artworks that form a boundary between arts and everyday life, explore new socio-cultural spaces, work interdisciplinary and interactive. Presented artworks are distinctive of critical thinking and future-oriented perspectives.

Every year the festival is launched in a different location. TARKIB breaks new ground by using non-traditional sites and spaces with the aim of bringing both audiences and artists together to engage with the city of Baghdad in a new way.

The festival features musical interventions, Iraqi contemporary poetry, performances and the Open Projector Night with films by young Iraqi filmmakers.

Catalogue: https://joom.ag/Rt9d

BAGHDAD WALK Group Exhibition in Public Space

BAGHDAD WALK is an annual series of workshops in contemporary art which culminates in the group exhibition BAGHDAD WALK with presentations in public spaces across the city of Baghdad.

BAGHDAD WALK is an exhibition and a narrative tour of the city. The participating artists connect their works with the specific locations, introducing background information on site. Manifold stories about the city of Baghdad are told and retold anew through the artists' perspectives and the encounters they create.

Artists present their perspective on memory culture and interpreted events and local circumstances that have become part of the collective cultural memory as well as its various forms in contemporary urban reality. The potential of visual culture to create moments of reflection in contemporary society is reflected in their diverse artistic interventions.


20. + 21.10.2023

BAGHDAD WALK is a project by TARKIB in collaboration with the Berlin Institute for Spatial Experiments starting in 2018. Since 2022 the project is implemented in cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherland Baghdad and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

This years edition is kindly supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherland Iraq.


BAIT TARKIB Creative Arts Centre Baghdad

The creative art center Bait Tarkib, which was opened in 2017 and is operated by the artist collective, is the only center of its kind in Baghdad that is dedicated to education and training, as well as the production and presentation of contemporary art.

The showcase program in Bait Tarkib offers different artistic events, such as group and solo exhibitions, but also readings, music concerts and performances.

Additionally to our own workshop program in different fields such as contemporary art, multimedia, 3D software programs, capacity building and civic education, we cooperate with others and host workshops.

Tarkib For Teaching Art in Bait Tarkib

Tarkib For Teaching Art (TFTA) is a program line of Tarkib, offered in our creative art centre Bait Tarkib. TFTA provides a range of art classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, ballet, music, as well as digital and courses in art history and art therapy. Our classes are tailored for all ages, levels and abilities. Our trainers are experienced local artists with a longstanding teaching background, complemented by international experts. All classes are available for a moderate price.

Online Archive - Baghdad Art in Public Space 1921 to the present

BAGHDAD ARTS IN PUBLIC SPACE is a joint multi-phased research project between Tarkib and The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII) that will culminate in a publicly accessible map-based online archive, a documentation of architectural and visual art achievement in Baghdad during the last 100 years. This project aims to document and contextualize contemporary identity through this bilingual website, creating a record of public art in Baghdad created from 1921 to the present.

The website will feature statues, murals, monuments, newly presented art interventions, demolitions, and architecture. The archive will show how urban design and public art in the city is connected to and shaped by Iraqi art in the past and present. Crucially, it will be a reliable resource for Iraqi youth to understand the significance of coping with the early past and finding their identity.


Our activities are project-related funded.

Our headquarter is Bait Tarkib, which is the focal point to be able to realize our activities, but also a place where the Iraqi youth can develope skills and knowledge in a wide range.

Support Bait Tarkib, the house of hope in Baghdad.