arch-peace news and articles

16.3.09 Commemorating civillian deaths

An interesting project going on at in an effort to commemorate the deaths of Iraqi civillians during the war on Iraq.

Basically, this project involves an online exhibition and open call for proposals to memorialise these deaths. The next deadline for entries is 19 March 2009, but what's interesting is that the project is intended to continue indefinitely, so there will be regular calls for entries and jury assessments. Ambitious perhaps, but an interesting idea and very reminiscent of the concepts of the 'active memorial' and 'memory work' that encourage engagement with the act of remembering. Artists and designers in Germany (and particularly Berlin) have generated similar activity, as has local landscape architect Sue Anne Ware who spoke at words @ bldg 50 last year (see Unfortunately there seems to be something wrong with the formatting of the iraqi memorial website, so a fair bit of text gets sliced off, but you should be able to get the gist of it if you're keen (or hopefully they've ironed out that kink by the time you read this!)


Tulio Mateo said...

The Iraqi Memorial is a great initiative, but is it really active? for whom?

It is active as it is an ongoing and deadlineless. And people interested about the subject will find out about it online. Therefore this online memorial may have a long life.

But Memorial places have become in time, for many of the affected societies, in a mean of improvement, by engaging in tourism, by engaging in additional creative activities that foster development.

I support the current initiative, with the hope that later on, a greater one will happen and these other income-generating activities will appear for a better, enjoyable Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Who is the memorial going to commemorate, the victims of Saddam or the victims of the US war? Will the victims of the US war crimes be given a Hollywood theme label... "redemption", "freedom"...?

Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

I wonder too whether the building will serve the aggressor’s interest by making it appear as if commemorating history—a call to reflect back—when it is plainly not history yet. Somehow, despicable acts such as wars are swiftly turned into history, as if this exempts them from being answerable to today’s demands for justice.

…and, since when non civilians (police, military and officials), defending their country within their land, are not worth commemorating? Surely this is not the US approach in its own country.

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