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Exhibition of Memorial Concepts

Artist(s): Anne Flinn, United States

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Proposal Title: Letters of Remembrance, 10/15/2008, Installation

Proposal Synopsis: Ongoing violence and the scattering of refugees prevent Iraqis from engaging in mourning rituals. The inability to publically mourn the loss of loved ones compounds the grief resulting from civilian death. The postal system provides an opportunity for survivors in Iraq and refugees around the world to safely mourn and memorialize the lives of those killed. This travelling memorial displays letters written by survivors about those lost. Letters are mailed to a central address, then placed within glass walls. Each set of walls represents a year of the war, the length of the wall being proportional to the number of civilian deaths occurring that year. Wall height and angle variations create a chaotic form that represents the irrationality of civilian death. When approaching the memorial, the offset walls block all but a sliver of light at the end of the memorial. Inside, clean, glass walls tame the physical form of the structure, allowing for an intimate experience. Narrow pathways engage visitors with the letters. No longer simply a number in the death toll, the words of loved ones personalize each victim, and, as the memorial travels around the world, increases awareness of the magnitude of the death toll in Iraq.

Artist's Biography: Anne Flinn is a 3rd year Masters of Landscape Architecture student at the University of Georgia.

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