Of steel and dust
A cloud of dust in the aridity of a Baghdad suburb. The roar of a thousand engines. Black-clad silhouettes stand out on the horizon, a horde of shiny choppers. It’s the Iraqi Bikers and the Bond Brothers, Iraq’s only biker clubs. Born out of a shared desire to unite passionate bikers in an apolitical, secular space where everyone can be themselves against all opposing conventions.
Shias, Sunnis and Christians mix in these clubs, a rarity in a country plagued by ongoing fratricidal sectarian wars. With a total ban on conversing about politics and religion (a club rule, not one of Iraq’s laws – it’s how the bikers maintain an apolitical and secular space within the club despite having members from different religious and social backgrounds), there is still a long way to go before their conservative society fully accepts them. The recent craze for this lifestyle signifies a willingness to embrace different forms of culture and could be a shift that redefines modern Iraqi society.
Chloe Sharrock is a French-British photographer and member of MYOP Agency. She is currently based between Paris and Kyiv, documenting the war in Ukraine for French newspaper Le Temps.
After studying Art History, Sharrock turned to photography, focusing on conflicts and post-conflictual societies through stories exploring violence and reconciliation.
2019 Sharrock’s commitment to women’s rights took her to India, where she produced Sugar Girls – a photographic series about coerced hysterectomies. The series was exhibited at Visa Pour l’Image in 2020.
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