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

Monday, February 1, 2010

Greenwood St. Beach -Day 15

What a difference sunshine can make.  I was all tense about being late, not being realy ready to start and worrying about the project, but the warmer weather (30 degrees F) and sunshine, and Jaber's cheeriness made for a successful day.  We talked to a couple of interested people, both of whom have a cause of their own.  It's interesting how many people who stop and ask what we are doing are activists of some sort.  One lady is trying to save the local cable station from the chopping block, and a man is with an environmentalist group.
Above 2 Photos by Jaber Alturfee

Today we drew the most lines yet at 27,200.  This feels like success, yet also means we are representing a more efficient counting of casualties and resulting widows.  We are also remembering, and representing these forgotten women, so the more lines, the more impressive the statement.

I am also struck again by how the shape of the implement changes the dynamic of the line.  I had a curved branch which led to holding the stick across my body.  I could leave a distinct mark very rapidly with a small flick of the wrist.  But the rapidity and the loose sand meant that each mark also kicked up sand that partially covered the row adjacent, speeding up the process whereby the lines would disappear in the wind.  Different events, from bombing, aerial attacks, chemical weapons, assassinations, the draining of the marshlands, occupation - each leave there own wake, with unique narratives for each affected family.  I wonder how the destructive variety effects the rapidity with which we forget the survivors.

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