Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Copley Square -- Boston

In New York an artist was willing to lend her over two dozen photos of Iraqis to Eyes Wide Open. Here is one of them standing among the shoes representing the 100,000+ Iraqis who have died due to the war. As the exhibit travels, more and more people, particularly with small children, find the shoes the most moving part of the memorial. Thanks to the blog "Off On a Tangent" for the photos. Correction: The artist of the photo represented is Lorna Tychostup. Please view her incredible work at Lorna Tychostup

Sunday, November 13, 2005

More Amherst

The combat boots had to stay out overnight, so a group of U. Mass students volunteered to camp out. It was a particularly cold night. A homeless man wandered over to where they were camped and told the students that as long as he had to stay outside overnight, he might as well help guard the boots. They put him inside one of the tents and encourged him to go inside one of the buildings to keep warm. Eyes Wide Open tends to encourage incredibly generosity from many unexpected places.

University of Massachusetts -- Amherst

It was a week of thinking and talking about the war at the university, capped with a speech by Cindy Sheehan to an overflow crowd. What started in Chicago in January 2004 with 504 pairs of combat boots has now quadrupled in size. This aerial shot gives a sense of the enormity of the loss of this war. The shoes representing the Iraqi civlians who have died are now formed into a circular labyrinth where people walk in reflection. Each tiny dot represents a life lost.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


We launched EWO’s visit to Boston by arranging to display the New England boots and a number of shoes in Nurses Hall in the Massachusetts State House (State Capitol.) Our plan had been to trumpet the coming of the full EWO by having the exhibit in the State House along with a press conference.

Even before we laid out our exhibit, we had our underwriting announcements running on the major NPR station and the Boston Globe gave us a great announcement and photo in the featured events section of their “Sidekick” section.

In addition to Jaime Lederer and me, speakers at the press conference included Andy Sapp, a very articulate Iraq vet who returned to the Boston area last week, Joyce and Kevin Lucey and Carlos and Melida Arredondo who lost sons to the Iraq war, Rep. Byron Rushing who arranged for the elegant State House space for us, and state Senator Pat Jelan.

Press who came included the Associated Press (the photograph went deep into the exhibit and told us that it was an AFSC staffer, who had returned from Southeast Asia in the late 1960s who turned him on to photography!), the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, New England Cable News, Channel 5 T.V. and the Roslindale….. which is doing a feature article about Carlos.

View a short video of the memorial at Copley Square.

More Cray Music Video Shoot

Part of the Robert Cray music video includes shots of a disabled Vietnam Vet, showing the lingering damage of U.S. wars. AFSC staff person David Goodman portrays the vet in these shots taken soon after the boots were shot in New Hampshire. David is an Academy Award winning filmmaker. He shot the documentary on Charlie Clements entitled Witness to War that won the best documentary award in 1984 and was produced by the American Friends Service Committee.

Look for the release of the music video to Twenty sometime in early 2006.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stark New Hampshire Setting

A local farm family in Rollinsford, NH lent their farm and their strong arms to set out and take down the whole Eyes Eide Open exhibit. Aiden Delgado, an Iraq war vet who was honorably discharged as a conscientious objector, plays the role of the soldier. Filmed on November 1, one day after the fourth deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq and one week after the 2,000th death, the music video captures a scene that is becoming tragically commonplace.

Eyes Wide Open in Music Video

Five-time Grammy award winner and blues artist Robert Cray filmed a music video to his song "Twenty" in New Hampshire with 2,027 pairs of combat boots from the Eyes Wide Open Memorial. The song speaks of of a young man who goes to Iraq and then comes back looking through the rows of boots for a name. It seems at first that he is looking for his buddies, but suddenly he finds a pair and puts them on. He was really looking for his own boots because he has ben killed. Look for it to be released early next year.