Sada(Echo) is a non-profit organization established to fulfill artists’ critical need for support in the creation, presentation, and preservation of contemporary art within Iraq and in the diaspora. Founded in 2010, Echo is already making significant contributions in the spheres of exhibition, education, and advocacy in the global and regional art-worlds.
Sada participated in the Iraq Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and has developed a multimedia web platform for the dissemination and archiving of contemporary Iraqi artists’ work. Beginning in November 2011, Sada’s education program has presented a series of online workshops for young artists gathered in a dedicated classroom in Baghdad. These distance-teaching classes have been taught by internationally known Arabic-speaking artists, who join their Baghdad-based students from locations elsewhere in the Middle East, in the U.S., and in Europe. Sada is thus taking concrete steps to ensure the continuation of Iraq’s long-standing artistic legacy into the twenty-first century, and to revitalize the presence of Iraqi artists on the world stage. This endeavor is of remarkable urgency and unique significance given the current vulnerability of cultural life in Iraq, and the absence of substantial resources for emerging generations of artists.
Rijin Sahakian is the founder and director of Sada and Conley is the Educational and Curatorial adviser.