Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee observing the American soldiers and marines that have died in the Iraq War. It contains a pair of combat boots to represent every American soldier and marine that has died in the war, as well as shoes representing Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives during the invasion and occupation. The exhibit was first shown in Chicago's Federal Plaza in January 2004. At that time, the exhibit contained 504 pairs of boots. [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/about-the-exhibit.htm - Retrieved: May 29, 2007] As of March 2007, the national exhibit contained over 3,400 pairs of boots and had visited more than 100 cities in 40 states. [ [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/locations/main.htm See Where We've Been : Eyes Wide Open Exhibit : AFSC ] ] However, as a result of its unmanageable size, the exhibit has been broken down state-by-state. Currently, nearly every state has its own state exhibit. The national exhibit in its entirety would currently contain more than 4,000 pairs of empty boots.


According to the American Friends Service Committee, the intent of the exhibit is to present a visual reminder of the "human cost" of the Iraq War and provide a place for public mourning. [ [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/about-the-exhibit.htm About the Exhibit : Eyes Wide Open Exhibit : AFSC ] ] Based on public information, [http://icasualties.org/oif/ The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count - Retrieved: January 2007] the American Friends Service Committee writes the name, age, rank and home state of each soldier and attaches it to a representative pair of boots. As the exhibit travels across the country, family members, friends and sympathizers leave flags, flowers and other mementos with individual pairs of boots. [Joe Garofoli, "Empty boots are silent testament to war's toll" http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/03/26/BAGTBBV26U1.DTL (San Francisco Chronicle, March 26, 2005) - Retrieved: January 2008] If a family wishes to have their child's name removed from the exhibit, AFSC will replace the serviceman's name with the information "name removed request of family". [http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/ September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows] co-sponsors the exhibit. [http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/article.php?id=515 - Retrieved: May 29, 2007]

In addition to boots representing the deaths of service men and women, AFSC has collected shoes representing Iraqis who have lost their lives during occupation. Few names of Iraqi dead are known. Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi social activist, has collected the names of several thousand Iraqi civilians. [http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/ - Retrieved: May 29, 2007] These are the names that appear on tags of civilian shoes at "Eyes Wide Open" exhibits and for another exhibit entitled, [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/dreams-and-nightmares.htm "Dreams and Nightmares"] . AFSC’s Dreams and Nightmares is a memorial to Iraqi civilians that includes photographs and stories of individuals who have lost their lives during occupation. [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/dreams-and-nightmares.htm - Retrieved: May 29, 2007]

Related exhibits

Since the inauguration of the original exhibit, several other exhibits have been created to assist in the original one's goal.

Eyes Wide Open State Exhibits

The national exhibit had grown so large by spring of 2007 that it had become difficult to transport by semi-truck. As a result, it has been divided into state exhibits. [ [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/chicago-three-years.htm Experience Eyes Wide Open : Eyes Wide Open Exhibit : AFSC ] ] Illinois established the first state exhibit in August 2006. As of July 2008, there are 48 state exhibits: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, two in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine/Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri/Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York/New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. [ [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/states.php Eyes Wide Open: An Exhibition of the Iraq War ] ] With the conclusion of the national exhibit, all but six states currently have their own exhibit. All of the "Eyes Wide Open" state exhibits continue to be under the leadership of The American Friends Service Committee.

The National Guard Exhibit

The National Guard Exhibit was created in summer of 2005 and contains 400+ pairs of boots for National Guard soldiers that have lost their lives in Iraq. The exhibit often also displays the boots of all soldiers lost from the exhibition state. In addition, the exhibit contains 50 pairs of civilian shoes representing the Iraqi civilians killed during occupation. The exhibit has visited more than 30 cities in 22 states. [http://www.afsc.org/eyes - Retrieved: May 29, 2007] National Guard units are not often sent abroad. [US National Guard, "About Us" http://www.arng.army.mil/AboutUs.aspx - Retrieved: January 2008.]

Cost of War Exhibit

At the conclusion of the National Eyes Wide Open Exhibit in June 2007, AFSC introduced the Cost of War Exhibit [ [http://www.afsc.org/cost/ Cost of War : Wage Peace Campaign : AFSC ] ] . The Exhibit contains ten 7 by 3 foot vinyl, full-color banners that compare the U.S. budget for the War in Iraq to the U.S. budget for human needs such as health care and education. Based on a report by economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, one day of the Iraq War costs the U.S. $720 million or $500,000 per minute [ [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=832646 SSRN-The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years after the Beginning of the Conflict by Linda Bilmes, Joseph Stiglitz ] ] . In partnership with The National Priorities Project [ [http://www.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoffs Federal Budget Trade-Offs | National Priorities Project ] ] , AFSC has used these numbers on the daily cost of the Iraq War to determine how many human services one day of the Iraq War budget could cover. For example, "one day of the Iraq War" would buy 1,153,846 children school lunches for a year or provide 163,525 adults with full health coverage for one year. This exhibit is either shown alone or in conjunction with Eyes Wide Open Exhibits. There are currently 17 Cost of War Exhibits [ [http://www.afsc.org/eyes/ Eyes Wide Open : An Exhibition on the Human Cost of the Iraq War : AFSC ] ] .

The addition of a veteran suicide component

Alarming studies of the suicide rate among veterans returning from the Iraq War led to the addition of a Veteran Suicide component to several state exhibits. Veteran suicides are considered a "hidden casualty count" of the Iraq War and are represented by white combat boots.

The exhibit in popular media

The exhibit was featured in blues musician Robert Cray’s music video for "Twenty". The song "Twenty" tells the story of a fictional serviceman who returns to The U.S. haunted by his experience in Iraq. The video stars an actual Iraq War veteran, 23-year-old Aidan Delgado. [Jazz News, "Robert Cray's Music Video "Twenty"http://home.nestor.minsk.by/jazz/news/2006/02/0807.html (Jan 2006) - Retrieved: January 17, 2008] Cray did not know of the "Eyes Wide Open" exhibit when he came up with the concept for the song, but realized that the exhibit would be a meaningful way for the character in his song to come to terms with the death he faced in Iraq. Robert Cray’s album, also titled "Twenty" was nominated for a Grammy as Best Contemporary Blues Album of 2006. [http://www.afsc.org/iraq/cray-video.htm - Retrieved: May 29, 2007]


External links

*http://www.afsc.org/eyes/ - Eyes Wide Open website
*http://zombietime.com/eyes_wide_open/ -Contains pictures of the exhibit and addresses how it received by the public
*http://www.criticalconcern.com/eyes_wide_open_exhibit.htm -Addresses controversy over the exhibit

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eyes Wide Open — Tu n aimeras point Tu n aimeras point (Eyes Wide Open) est un film germano franco israélien réalisé par Haim Tabakman en 2009.[1] [2] Sommaire 1 Synopsis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eyes Wide Open (song) — Infobox Single Name = Eyes Wide Open Type = Single Artist = Naildown Released = 2005 Recorded = Genre = Melodic death metal Length = 12:08 Label = Spinefarm Records Producer = Reviews = Last single = This single = Eyes Wide Open (2005) Next… …   Wikipedia

  • With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming — Infobox Standard title = With My Eyes Wide Open, I m Dreaming english title = comment = Introduced in the movie Shoot the Works. image size = caption = writer = composer = Harry Revel lyricist = Mack Gordon published = 1934 written = language =… …   Wikipedia

  • with (your) eyes (wide) open — understanding the true character of someone or something. I knew Bill for a long time, and I went into this relationship with my eyes wide open …   New idioms dictionary

  • with your eyes (wide) open — phrase knowing that there could be many problems in a situation I went into the job with my eyes open, fully knowing what it would involve. Thesaurus: knowing and knowing about somethingsynonym Main entry: eye …   Useful english dictionary

  • with (one’s) eyes (wide) open — mod. totally aware of what is going on. □ I went into this with my eyes open. □ We all started with eyes open but didn’t realize what could happen to us …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • Eyes Wide Shut — Données clés Titre québécois Les yeux grand fermés Titre original Eyes Wide Shut Réalisation Stanley Kubrick Scénario Stanley Kubrick Frederic Raphael d après la nouvelle Traumnovelle d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eyes Wide Shut — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Eyes Wide Shut Produktionsland Vereinigtes Königreich Vereinigte Staaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eyes Wide Shut —    Warner Bros. , 159 minutes, 1999. Producer: Stanley Kubrick; Director: Kubrick; Screenplay: Kubrick, based on a novella by Arthur Schnitzler; Cinematographer: Larry Smith; Assistant Director: Brian W. Cook; Art Director: John Fenner and Kevin… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Eyes wide shut — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Eyes Wide Shut Originaltitel: Eyes Wide Shut Produktionsland: UK, USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1999 Länge: 153 Minuten Originalsprache …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.