Former Iraqi Refugee Returns To Treasure Valley As Artist-In-Residence

Nov 5, 2018

Luma Jasim resettled in Boise in 2008 with her family, five years after the U.S. invaded Iraq.


Nostalgia is a major theme in her multidisciplinary work.

“My nostalgia is mixed between something I knew, and something I was hoping or expecting to happen in my future. But it didn’t happen.”

Although Jasim hasn’t been back to her country since fleeing, her remembered home is present on her canvases. She knows her work might seem dark to some people, even to fellow artists who still live in Iraq. 

“If I’m there, maybe I would be working like that, because you want to run away from your reality. And that’s why you want to find a window of hope and things like that. But for me, being away, I cannot ignore this idea that there are these memories and the distance I feel from my home.” 

The artist lives in New York City now, but is back in the Treasure Valley as the artist-in-residence at Surel’s Place. On Tuesday night at 7 p.m., she’ll perform a piece for the first time in front of her parents, who still live in Boise. Her work at the Visual Arts Collective will incorporate stop motion film, music, spoken word and live painting.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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