Iraqi born Wafaa Bilal has become known for provocative interactive video installations. Many of Bilal’s projects over the past few years have addressed the dichotomy of the virtual vs. the real. He attempts to keep in mind the relationship of the viewer to the artwork, with one of his main objectives transforming the normally passive experience of viewing art into an active participation. Bilal was born in Iraq, lived through the Iran-Iraq war and fled the country as a political dissident during Saddam Hussein’s regime. Bilal accepts this responsibility and nurtures it, as he states, “It is through my art that I work to create awareness among those that would not normally be aware, to give voices to the voiceless, and to bring them peace.” Having earned his M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003 where he is now a faculty member, Bilal has been working with a variety of media to convey the political and emotional complexities surrounding the wars in Iraq.