BAGHDAD– The man in the bulky bomb disposal suit waved at a gaggle of awed children as he walked down a Baghdad street and sat outside a small cafe to drink tea.
But there was no bomb to defuse on Rasheed Street that day, and no armor inside the black suit to protect him from explosives.
Iraqi artist Hussein Adil designed the mock bomb suit, complete with huge helmet and visor, for this performance.
“We had to make this one because there aren’t many bomb suits in Iraq,” he said. “We have to be one of the countries in the world that needs them the most.”
Adil, a wispy 20-year-old with a wild head of tight curly hair, is one of an ever growing number of Iraqi artists looking for new ways of tackling the violence they grew up with.
The inspiration for his “bomb suit happening” was the death last year in a suicide car bombing of his close friend Ammar al-Shahbander, a much-loved journalist.
“There aren’t many bomb suits in Iraq.” It sucks that they need them, and sucks even worse they don’t have them.