Iraqi cinema beyond the screen and the archives of leisure

Pelle Valentin Olsen

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The emergence of new forms of leisure in Iraqi urban landscapes, such as cinemas, nightclubs, and theaters, unleashed debates about the dangers and potentials of leisure. The result of this process is a vast, albeit scattered, archive of texts that deal with practices and institutions of leisure. The archive of leisure, as it pertains to cinema, can be located across a variety of texts including memoirs, short stories, student essays, police records, official discourse, medical texts, and works by Iraqi historians. Given the limited access to Iraqi film and cinema archives, the archive of leisure can offer an important addendum and a supplementary history of Iraqi cinema and cinemagoing. This article offers a new way to retrieve and think about cinematic pasts by examining different archives of leisure. Using these archives, it provides examples of how cinemagoing became a battleground for competing visions of class, morality, gender relations, and politics in early and mid twentieth century Iraq.
TidsskriftRegards (Paris)
Sider (fra-til)129-141
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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