Eyes Wide Open, the American Friends Service Committee's widely-accalimed exhibition on the human cost of the Iraq War, features a pair of boots honoring each U.S. military casualty and a field of shoes to memoralize the Iraqis killed in the conflict. Eyes Wide Open has toured to over 100 cities across the U.S. and has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people.
This touring exhibit includes 45 unique 4-foot by 6-foot panels created by artists memorializing Afghan civilian casualties, alongside images about living with war collected from Afghan schoolchildren. The exhibit opens in Philadelphia on October 7, the ninth anniversary of the war, and will include public programs each week.
AFSC has opposed every war since its inception in 1917, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no exception. AFSC has been a steadfast voice for an end to the reliance on military solutions, withdrawal of US military forces and support for civilian-led reconciliation and reconstruction to resolve the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our advocacy and education work stretches across the country utilizing a network of staff and volunteers to bring the message of the human and economic costs of the war to the general public and to our elected officials.
Last November 1, as the sun rose over a farm near Dover, New Hampshire the Eyes Wide Open crew once again began laying out more than two thousand pairs of boots representing the U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. But this was not a standard stop on the nation-wide tour of AFSC’s acclaimed anti-war exhibit.
The boots were being prepared to play a role in a music video for blues musician Robert Cray’s poignant new song, “Twenty”, telling the story of a young soldier, who questions his mission in Iraq, but is killed before his deployment is up.
Due to the growing number of US casualties, the Eyes Wide Open National Exhibit has become too large for the AFSC to tour. Instead, the AFSC will be splitting the exhibit into 50 state exhibits to continue the work of bringing Eyes Wide Open into smaller communities across the country. Working with AFSC offices, Quaker meetings and peace groups across the country, the Eyes Wide Open state exhibits feature the boots of the soldiers from their home states in addition to a memorial to the Iraqi civilian casualties.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.