The Deeper Wounds: Living in the Trauma Zone in Jawad Al-Assadi’s Baghdadi Bath and Mithal Ghazi’s A Feminine Solo


Various literary studies have investigated the psychological, social and cultural effects of traumatic events. They give voice to traumatised victims and enable them to convey and confront their traumas. However, these studies present a one-sided view, concentrating largely on the presentation of trauma in the industrial societies of the Western world. Recently, increasing attention has been devoted to identifying and depicting the forms and types of trauma that have been experienced in marginalised and neglected societies, such as the Iraqi society. Iraq has witnessed the unexpected fall of a brutal dictatorship, Western invasion and an unprecedented rise of sectarian discourses. This extreme violence has deeply affected many aspects of cultural production, particularly the rise of trauma in dramatic works of art. The present paper aims to examine two plays, namely, Jawad Al-Assadi’s Baghdadi Bath and Mithal Ghazi’s A Feminine Solo, using trauma theory in analysing the notions of the traumatic effect of war on survivors and Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty in explaining the issue of staging violence. This paper concludes that these plays bear witness to and expose the devastating effect of war on the identities of traumatised Iraqi characters, while at the same time, endowing them with a sense of hope to overcome their traumatised state.


Maysoon Taher Muhi


A Feminine Solo, Baghdadi Bath, Iraqi theatre, Theatre of Cruelty, Trauma