Eyes Wide Open is an impressive installation which commemorates the Fifth Anniversary of the Iraq War. Honoring the New York state soldiers killed in action since the start of the Iraq War on March 19, 2003, Eyes Wide Open: New York brings home the reality of their deaths with an installation of 175 pairs of combat boots and shoes to show the human cost of war. Lining the stairs of The powerHouse Arena, the installation will run over thirty-three feet in length, eight feet in height. A second display of shoes is on view to represent the thousands of Iraqi civilian causalities. Eyes Wide Open has been traveling throughout New York State since the spring of 2006 and will continue to tour schools and communities in the area.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international social justice organization, originally created Eyes Wide Open: The Human Cost of War to illustrate the lives lost in the war in Iraq. The national exhibit, which first opened in Chicago with 500 pairs of boots in January 2004, grew to over 3,500 when it came to a close on Memorial Day weekend in 2007. The tour had been to more than 100 cities across the country, including Boston, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, and Washington, DC. It has now been divided into smaller statewide exhibits, which continue to grow and tour on a local level.
Eyes Wide Open: New York is open from March 11 through to March 19 at The powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street at Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
In addition tune in to the documentary Eyes Wide Open, airing on LINK TV, satellite television and Local PBS Stations in the States. This documentary from award-winning director Peter Daulton travels with the Eyes Wide Open exhibit to several cities and joins military families as they visit the boots of their children lost in the war. Take a look at the trailor below.