To much acclaim, Media Rauf Begard returned home to present her one-woman drama "Eastern Blood" at the Fine Arts Hall in Sulaimaniyah.
The play, written by Talal Nasraddin, puts the spotlight on violence against women. She performed the play on July 29th and 30th.
It starts out as a love story between a boy and a girl. The girl's family does not allow her to marry her lover, but she defies them and elopes, and eventually has a child. Later on, he deserts her, leading her family to kill her.
Begard presented the play in Syria, Morocco, Denmark, and Sweden, before taking it to Sulaimaniyah.
"I have presented this monodrama in a number of countries," she told Mawtani. "The one presented in Sulaimaniyah featured some changes. Some of the dances presented varied according to the country in which it was played."
Begard was born in Sulaimaniyah and now lives in Sweden. She graduated from the acting department at the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1989, the same year she received a "Best Actress" award in Iraq.
Previously, Begard acted in several plays, including "The Visit", "The One Who Sat Alone", "King Lear", and "The Guard". "I felt great pleasure returning to my city after such a long period," she said. "I present this monodrama to my colleagues and drama fans."
Following the show, actor and theater critic Karwan Salar Kaka Sur asked artists, actors, directors, intellectuals, and theater fans at the Fines Arts Hall to discuss the themes of the show.
Audience member Parwa Ali offered her interpretation of "Eastern Blood".
"We saw the spirit of a woman killed, with the tribal people and intellectuals collectively contributing to her death," Ali said.
Theater critic Nihad Jami shared his perception of the play.
"Begard is expressing the sufferings of a woman by using her body and language," his said. "At times, the body dominated; words and sentences became helpless. At other times, words and expressions dominated, and the body was helpless."
Artist Ali Karim said, "We were in front of an artist who was producing meaning with all her movements and dances."
"Media's performance was so beautiful that very few actresses could perform in such an interesting way," he said. "I really enjoyed the show."