Alia Farid, excerpt from Chibayish, 2023. UHD video, colour, sound, 15:03. Courtesy the artist. Collection of The Vega Foundation.

Alia Farid’s Chibayish examines how nature in southern Iraq has been viewed as both an accomplice and harbourer of political resistance. Filmed at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Chibayish records the artist’s interactions with three young marshland residents: Riad Samir and Jassim and Qassim Mohammed. It includes footage of the children caring for a water buffalo, describing their geography, naming members of the community, and traversing a marsh engulfed by oil infrastructure and industrial waste. Chibayish is part of a larger group of works that Farid has developed since 2018 focused on the impact of extractive industries on southern Iraq and Kuwait’s ecological and social fabric. Like her installation Palm Orchard (2022), Chibayish is an exploration of cultural identity, history, colonialism, and the right to remain.