This essay highlights how Iraqi ruling elites created monuments and memorial places that significantly shaped Baghdad’s urban spaces, and propagated concepts and ideas that were functional to the political agenda of the government. In particular, the first part of the essay focusses on the era of ‘Abd al-Karim Qassim (through an analysis of the renowned moument realized by Jawad Salim) and of Saddam Hussein. The second part of the essay describes the deep impact that the deployment of international troops after 2003 and the subsequent civil war left onto the urban landscape. In particular, the essay focusses on the level of destruction and transformation brough upon by the conflict, with the formation of a highly securitized central zone, and the result of processes of forced homogenization along sectarian lines.
Keywords: Iraq Baghdad Politics of Memory Baath