Widowsweave is an awareness raising series of performances highlighting the conditions of Iraqi Widows who often struggle to acquire even basic necessities such as clean water or adequate shelter. Through artistic durational activities the artist and public participants mark 3,000,000 lines representing the number of Iraqi widows from 30 years of war, tyranny and sanctions.


Kevin Valentine will have three new pieces in the Faculty Show at North Central College, Naperville. The reception is April 8th, from 6-8

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Email Inquiry

The following email was sent to four contacts from the Oxfam "silent emergency" news pages posted last March. It appears that Oxfam has not been working in Iraq for security reasons since 2004, but I'm hoping that someone who reported on the story might have contact information that will prove useful in strategizing as to the nature of my project or the objectives of any fundraising that might occur.

Dear ______,

I am an artist whose work has been intertwined with issues in Iraq since 1991. Currently I am entering my thesis year at Columbia College, Chicago. I would like to help the widows of Iraq in a tangible way through my thesis project.

After hearing Nawal al-Samaraie on NPR talking about her resignation, budget problems and the number of widows in Iraq, I began a series of works referencing the number (three million) that was used in that report. My thesis work this year continues to explore this line of inquiry – I plan on attempting to draw three million lines in the sand, around Chicago, the United States and, if possible, the world. This would be done both individually and as community awareness-raising action days. I would also like to try to raise money with the intention of helping the cause of widows in Iraq.

My first step is to contact someone who can help me navigate the world of aid agencies/NGOs/ charities /Departments-of-State in order to discern how best to achieve the end of actually helping the situation of Iraqi widows. I would not want to disrupt work already underway, insult any parties that might cause more grief, or waste effort and goodwill with counterproductive initiatives.

If you could help direct me to appropriate persons or contacts or avenues in order to develop effective strategies I would be very grateful.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kevin Valentine

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