Welcome to iraqimemorial.org.
Launched in November of 2007, iraqimemorial.org is an online and physical exhibition of memorial proposals and projects dedicated to the many thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in the War in Iraq. Artists, designers, architects or other interested creative individuals or collaborators are invited to submit either proposed, imagined memorials or documentation of completed projects .
iraqimemorial.org now serves as an archive of close to 190 proposals and projects uploaded by artists from all over the world. New proposals and project documentation are always welcome - if you would like to participate, feel free to click on our "Call for Proposals" above.
It was at this time that I began to seriously think about the meaning and context of memorials to war. I remember thinking that there would never be a memorial to the increasing number of innocent civilians who continue to die in the war in Iraq.
Here we were, in the process of carefully and respectfully working to remember and honour the innocents of 9/11 while simultaneously many thousands of people, arguably just as innocent, were being killed in order for us to “fight terrorism”, “protect our freedoms”, and “spread democracy abroad”. At the time of the WTC Memorial Competition in 2003-2004, estimates ranged from 15,000 to 100,000 civilian casualties in Iraq. As of 2011, estimates run from 80,000 to over 1.2 million deaths in Iraq of non-combatants.
Who is remembered? Who is mourned? Who is responsible? How do we, as artists, choose to respond?
Iraqimemorial.org invites artists, desingers, architects, musicians, dancers and other creative individuals or groups from all over the world to propose memorials to the victims of a war who will likely never be recognized through official processes. The submitted proposals may never be realized - the intent is to facilitate a process that allows for the expression of concepts as a collective, networked, creative act of remembrance that takes place in the present tense.
Memorials exist for a variety of reasons: to create an opportunity for the contemplation of loss; to honour sacrifice; to celebrate heroism and to consecrate a process of mourning that is ongoing and public. This call for proposals for memorials to the thousands of innocents killed in Iraq is an effort to establish an opportunity for the creative community to conceptualize works that seek to recognize, reveal, and process the true cost of this war. The value lies in the recognition of death and suffering in the immediate - remembering the present and calling attention to the continuing horror that is being bestowed upon the civilian population of Iraq.
-Joseph DeLappe, 2011