Feb201016
Tattoo Performance for Casualities in Iraq
12:45 AM
tattoo_casualty.jpg
Artist Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi-American whose brother was killed by a missile at a checkpoint during "Operation Iraqi Freedom," is using tattoos in his latest performance art piece entitled "... And Counting."

Bilal will have his back tattooed with one dot for each Iraqi and American casualty. The dots will be placed on a borderless map of Iraq -- already tattooed with the names of cities -- in close proximity to where the those men and women were killed.  See this video of that initial tattooing. [Kyle McDonald designed the map visualization above left.]

The dots will be tattooed in NY's Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts over a 24-hour period, from 8pm March 8th to 8pm March 9th. The press release offers more on the show:

"Bilal feels the pain of both American and Iraqi families who've lost loved ones in the war, but the deaths of Iraqis like his brother are largely invisible to the American public.
[...]
The 5,000 dead American soldiers are represented by red dots (permanent visible ink), and the 100,000 Iraqi casualties are represented by dots of green UV ink, seemingly invisible unless under black light. During the performance people from all walks of life read off the names of the dead.

Also, Bilal is asking each visitor to donate $1 which will go to the group Rally for Iraq, to fund scholarships for Americans and Iraqis who lost parents in the war. Based on official numbers of casualties, one dollar for each would mean $105,000 in scholarship money."


The entire performance will be streamed online. For detailed information, visit Wafaabilal.com.
 

[Via Information Aesthetics with special thanks to Evan from Cool Hunting for the heads up.]
5 Comments

105,000 dots over 24 hours? Wait... That means he's getting 4375 an hour, almost 73 dots a minute, more than one a second... How many machines they gonna have running on this guy?!



War has always been the calling of many people to share there memories. Bringing to light out all the tattoos that people have to illustrate there own views. Through there tattoos you can hear the cry's of the war fallen heroes and there stories there hold so dear to there hearts and souls. And through the ink we are all connected directly or indirectly.



War has always been the calling of many people to share there memories. Bringing to light out all the tattoos that people have to illustrate there own views. Through there tattoos you can hear the cry's of the war fallen heroes and there stories there hold so dear to there hearts and souls. And through the ink we are all connected directly or indirectly.



where does the 100,000 figure come from? according to justforeignpolicy.org and iraqbodycount.org there have been over 1.3 million civilian casualties in Iraq.



@Brian: I've mentioned this to Wafaa, and I'm not sure what his plan is :)

@George: The 100,000 figure comes from the Iraq Body Count project. Accurately estimating the number of civilian deaths is very difficult for a number of reasons, including: there are different definitions of "civilian", as well as "death" (which may or may not include life-threatening injuries). Furthermore, there is not always someone to document an incident, or there are multiple people documenting it with conflicting reports. We decided to use IBC because they are working with real incidents rather than statistical sampling. There is more information on this "number" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War





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