Zoom event: The Jews of Iraq: A personal memoir in graphic novel form With the author Carol Isaacs
When teaching antisemitism there is too often a focus on the European experience. This session will help teachers to widen their knowledge and explore an Iraqi experience that survivors in Britain today are still trying to process.
In the 1940’s, a third of Baghdad’s population was Jewish. Within a decade nearly all of Iraq’s 150,000 Jews had fled. Of those remaining, most escaped in the 1970s or were killed. Today only three Jews remain.
The Wolf of Baghdad is a retelling of one family’s experience: at once a testimony, a work of art and a memoir of a lost homeland by a graphic artist homesick for a home she has never visited.
The Wolf of Baghdad (one of the Guardian’s top graphic novels) was created by award-winning musician Carol Isaacs, also known as cartoonist The Surreal McCoy. An animated version (a motion comic where the book comes to life panel by panel) has a soundtrack of Iraqi and Judeo-Arabic music.
In this session Carol will:
- explain why she wrote book/produced the animated film and why they are so important to her.
- explore the diversity of Jewish identity and experience through an historical and geographical lens.
- introduce educator’s guide (written in collaboration with Jewish comics scholar Dr Matt Reingold)
- give insight into how to read graphic novels: resources which can enable teachers to engage students with low levels of textual literacy or those without English as a first language.
- Introduce the musical heritage of the animated version of the book and how this may be used to enrich pupils understanding of Jewish culture
Carol’s work could be used as an alternative focus for Holocaust Memorial Day activities.
Carol Isaacs is a keyboard player & accordionist in the pop and world music fields, recording and touring worldwide with many international artists including Sinéad O’Connor (Ireland), Indigo Girls (US), Ahmed Mukhtar (Iraq), Phongsit Khampee (Thailand). She is a founder member of the London Klezmer Quartet, Hamsa and 3yin.
Also known as cartoonist The Surreal McCoy (published in the New Yorker, Private Eye, Spectator) Carol drew The Wolf of Baghdad graphic memoir based on her own family’s recollections and then turned it into a motion comic with music. She also plays Arabic accordion on the soundtrack. The book itself was published by Myriad Editions (UK) in January 2020 and the motion comic is available to buy or rent at her website.
Length of session: Approximately 75-90 minutes, to include a Q&A with the audience.
To book fill out this form.
Please note bookings close at 12pm the day of the event