After seeing a man wearing these trousers on the subway in New York. I felt I should recreate them as best I could.
Whether it was a bold statement of patriotism, a sort of ‘fuck you America’, or merely a convenient way of mending a broken zipper, we know he took the decision to sew an American eagle flying before an American flag over his crotch, and somehow this seems important.
All images © Alice Woods
After a month in New York I have now arrived at The Büro of the Institut Für Alles Möngliche in Berlin. I will be making work here for the next 4 weeks, centered around experiences with Occupy groups and my time with Alt Banking in New York. The work is not made yet but the flyer is! There will be an open studio on the final weekend in March but you can visit me anytime.
In his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Harold Pinter excoriated US foreign policy. “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law.” He also speaks of “the pathetic and supine Great Britain” commenting that we are a “bleating little lamb tagging behind it [The US] on a lead”. “What has happened to our moral sensibility?” Pinter asks, “Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days — conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead?”
This speech left me speechless! It should be viewed at least once a year.
There’s no escape.
The big pricks are out.
They’ll fuck everything in sight.
Watch your back.
Harold Pinter, February 2003
(Source: http://www.haroldpinter.org/ & http://www.economist.com/node/21526301)
The Arrest Blair website offers a reward to people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, for crimes against peace. I remembered the existence of this website after recently reading about the use of Depleted Uranium in the Iraq War. The war has killed an estimated 500,000 people (http://tinyurl.com/iraqdeathtoll), and due in-part to the use of Depleted Uranium weaponry has caused a devastating increase in the rate of birth defects. In fact, the rate of congenital malformations in the city of Fallujah has far surpassed that of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after nuclear bombs were dropped at the end of World War II. Estimates show a 60% increase of babies are being born with some kind of defect, including extreme malformations, and forms of cancer and leukaemia. (Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009). You can see a harrowing report of the situation from Democracy Now by following this link: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/20/ten_years_later_us_has_left
This constitutes just one of the reasons that I encourage you to read the information on how to perform a citizens arrest of Tony Blair on the Arrest Blair website. The site states that “the chances of getting Blair officially arrested or prosecuted in most nations are currently slim” however, the press coverage that many of the already attempted arrests have produced, are a useful tool to alert people to the uncomfortable truths and illegality of the Iraq War. 2 million people in London alone protested against the invasion of Iraq and the UK’s collaboration with the Bush administration. 36 million people protested worldwide against the war, and yet it still went ahead. Changing the public mood and putting pressure on governments is essential, and we can only hope that continued campaigning will result in the discontinuation of chemical and nuclear weapons. It is a terrible irony that the western world was quick to denounce the recent use of chemical weaponry in Syria whilst it continues to use weapons of equal atrocity itself.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has plenty of information on Depleted Uranium on its website: http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/depleted-uranium alongside a whole host of other resources.