Nine Parts of Desire
Voices of Iraqi Women

Nine Parts of Desire

The Saddam Art Center in Bagdad seems to be a contradiction in terms. Room after room contains billboard size portraits of Saddam, the "art" of these images all pervasive throughout the center. In the back room however you come to an image of a nude woman clinging to a barren tree. It almost seems like a mirage, its unique presence becoming dreamlike. According to Heather Raffo, creator of the play 9 Parts of Desire, when she came upon this image there was a light before it, the woman's head was bowed. She discovered that the title of the piece was savagery and it inspired Raffo to take an eleven year journey interviewing Iraqi woman from all over the world. The result is her play and in it, she speaks of affairs she has had, she speaks of Saddam randomly picking women and claiming that they were prostitutes and beheading them. And in one poignant moment she says, “If I am not afraid, then there is no feeling.”