The travel ban has been in place since December 2017, and was instituted by a presidential order, though the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed it in a 5–4 decision. The ban indefinitely suspends immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela.
In addition to the artists based in Iraq and its diasporas, “Theater of Operations” includes Western artists responding to the conflicts. One such artist, Phil Collins
, withdrew his video work baghdad screentests
(2002) from “Theater of Operations” to protest Museum of Modern Art
board trustee Larry Fink’s investments in private prison companies, according to a Hyperallergic
report. Collins is a England-born and Berlin-based artist, so he was not subject to the travel ban.