The Fallen — 9,000 Silhouettes of fallen Soldiers into the Sand
Haunting reminder of millions of lives lost in war as artists stencil 9,000 bodies onto Normandy beach to mark Peace Day
The project, named, ‘The Fallen‘ is a tribute to the civilians, German forces and Allies who lost their lives during the Operation Neptune landing on June 6, 1944.
“Nine thousand silhouettes on the beach of Arromanches in France – a reminder of the tragic D Day that initiated the D-Day landings in Normandy during World War II.”
“British led project covered the famous coastline of Normandy in poignant stencil 9,000 bodies in D-Day Tribute”
Day of Peace is one of the major international festivals which is held under the auspices of the UN and calls upon all States to give up weapons of warfare. The Peace Day tribute is a poignant reminder the thousands who died during Operation Overlord. Every year on September 21 held a variety of peacekeeping activities and creative people.
Last 2013, one of the large-scale project was “The Fallen” by British artists Andy Moss,50 and Jamie Wardley,33 serves as a stark visual reminder of the people and allied forces who died fighting for the freedom during the WWII D-Day assault at Arromanches on June 6, 1944.
“Haunting reminder of millions of lives lost in war as artists stencil 9,000 bodies onto Normandy beach to mark Peace Day”
Last 2013, one of the large-scale project was “The Fallen” by British artists Andy Moss,50 and Jamie Wardley,33 serves as a stark visual reminder of the people and allied forces who died fighting for the freedom during the WWII D-Day assault at Arromanches on June 6, 1944. Together with a team of volunteers the pair travelled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand.
“A team of 500 artists and volunteers contributed the moving installation. Unfortunately, the “Fallen” were left to be washed away by the tide at the end of the day”
Speaking of the idea behind the project Wardley said: ‘The Fallen is a sobering reminder of what happens when peace is not present.
‘The idea is to create a visual representation of what is otherwise unimaginable, the thousands of human lives lost during the hours of the tide during the Second World War Normandy landings.
“Speaking of the idea behind the project Wardley said: ‘The Fallen is a sobering reminder of what happens when peace is not present.’
‘People understand that so many lives were lost that day but it’s incredibly difficult to picture that number.’
Al-Anfal and the Genocide of Iraqi Kurds, 1988
The al-Anfal campaign in 1988 was a genocidal military operation led by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime against the ethnic Kurds of northern Iraq. “Al-Anfal” by Saddam Hussein and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid (known as ‘Chemical Ali’), who used this term to describe the carefully planned and orchestrated eight-staged genocidal campaign between February 23rd and September 6th 1988. In Kurdish society, the word Anfal has come to represent the entire genocide over decades. Set in the context of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the predominately Kurdish area of northern Iraq was seen as a strategic vulnerability to the Ba’athist regime, and a brutal counterinsurgency was waged to vanquish the perceived threat. At least 100,000 Kurdish lost their lives most of who were non-combatants, and about 90% of Kurdish villages in the targeted area were destroyed through the use of chemical weapons, aerial attacks, and a host of other extra-legal modes of destruction. Since 2003, the Iraqi Special Tribunal convicted many of the operation’s leaders with crimes against humanity, genocide, and premeditated murder.
‘A 1988 photograph shows a Kurdish father holding his baby in his arms in Halabja, northeastern Iraq. Both were killed in an Iraqi chemical attack on the city.’ Getty Images (independent.co.uk)
Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were executed during a systematic attempt to exterminate the Kurdish population in Iraq in the Anfal operations in the late 1980s. They were tied together and shot so they fell into mass graves. Their towns and villages were attacked by chemical weapons, and many women and children were sent to camps where they lived in appalling conditions. Men and boys of ‘battle age’ were targeted and executed en masse. The campaign takes its name from Suratal-Anfal in the Qur’an. Al Anfal literally means the spoils (of war) and was used to describe the military campaign of extermination and looting commanded by Ali Hassan al-Majid. The Ba’athists misused what the Qur’an says. Anfal in the Qur’an does not refer to genocide, but the word was used as a code name by the former Iraqi Ba’athist regime for the systematic attacks against the Kurdish population. The campaign also targeted the villages of minority communities including Christians.
‘Statue of the mass graves of Halabja ‘
But the Kurdish genocide began decades before the Anfal and has claimed countless victims. The genocide perpetrated over decades began with the arabisation of villages around Kirkuk in 1963. It involved the deportation and disappearances of Faylee Kurds in the 1970s-80s, the murder of 8,000 male Barzanis in 1983, the use of chemical weapons in the late 1980s, most notably against Halabja, and finally the Anfal campaign of 1988. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people perished, families were torn apart, many still live with severe health problems. At the same time, 4,500 villages were razed to the ground between 1976 and 1988 undermining the potential of Iraqi Kurdistan’s agricultural resources and destroying Kurdistan’s rural way of life and heritage.
‘Entrance to the mass graves of Halabja’
The Kurdish people are the fourth largest ethnic and linguistic group in the Middle East, following in size the Arabs, Turks, and Persians. Sharing such ancient origins, the Kurds have their own tradition of cultural independence. After World War I, both President Woodrow Wilson’s principle of national self-determination and the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres promised to carve out a sovereign state of Kurdistan. Such commitments were soon reneged upon with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, stranding Kurds as national minorities in other countries. Today, some 25 million Kurds live in their indigenous hearth region that overlaps eastern Turkey, northern Syria, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran. Pockets of the Kurdish diaspora extend even further, ranging from former Soviet satellites to Western Europe and North America.
‘Kurdish guide in front of one of the mass garve’
“Arabization,” a project of internal colonialism that sought to integrate and exploit this resource-rich region. Coveting the region’s valuable oil fields, fertile land, mineral wealth, and upstream access to the Tigris River, the Ba’athist regime, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein after 1979, forcibly evicted tens of thousands of Kurdish families. Many fled as refugees to Iran.
Primary documentation of the genocide by the Iraqi Secret Police was captured by Kurdish forces following yet another uprising at the end of the 1991 Gulf War. This material was used in Human Rights Watch’s investigation of al-Anfal and is now available at theUniversity of Colorado at Boulder’s Archive. After the 2003 American invasion and subsequently tumultuous occupation, the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (formerly known as the Iraqi Special Tribunal) was established to adjudicate the transgressions of the Ba’athist regime. It has focused on genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other egregious acts. Saddam Hussein was tried and convicted for crimes against humanity, although the Tribunal did not charge him with connection al-Anfal. “Chemical Ali” was prosecuted for his direct role, however, was found guilty of genocide by the Tribunal and executed in January 2010.
‘For more than 40 years the name Saddam Hussein has been inextricably linked with that of Iraq. Its president since 1979, his influence on the lives of the people of Iraq, the wider Middle East and indeed, the global stage, has been unrivalled.’
‘Mountains in the background, new buildings in the foreground on the outskirts of Halabja’
THE KURDISH GENOCIDE: THE FACTS
- An estimated 1million people in Iraq have ‘disappeared’ since the 1960s, all presumed murdered or missing.
- Human Rights Watch reported in its 1993 comprehensive report on Anfal in Iraq that at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds are estimated to have been killed at the hands of the Ba’ath regime.1 However, since then, several sources have stated that as many as 182,000 or even more people were killed in that operation
- Gendercide: Throughout the Kurdish Anfal, men and boys of ‘battle age’ were rounded up and ‘disappeared’ en masse. Most of these men and boys were captured, transported to mass graves and shot in mass executions. Of the total victims of Anfal, an estimated 70% were men, approximately aged 15 to 50.2
- Thousands of women and children also vanished. Unlike the men, however, they were taken from specific areas as opposed to throughout the region. Evidence also shows that many were taken to internment camps where they were executed or died from deprivation.3
- During the 1980s, the Kurdish population was attacked with chemical weapons, killing thousands of men, women and children indiscriminately.
- During the Anfal, 90% of Kurdish villages and more than 20 small towns and cities were completely destroyed.
War and peace keeping in the Congo: Haunting images capture life in the ravaged country swarming with refugees and rival militias on the eve of 20th anniversary of Rwandan genocide
Rwanda has been called ‘a tropical Switzerland in the heart of Africa’. It’s about a third the size of Belgium, who administered it from 1919 under a League of Nations mandate (by which it ceased to be part of German East Africa) until independence in 1962. Visitors think it’s a beautiful country. (‘Beautiful?’ said one Rwandan. ‘After the things that have happened here?’)
Most of the Rwandan population belong to the Hutu ethnic group, traditionally crop-growers. For many centuries Rwanda attracted Tutsis – traditionally herdsmen – from northern Africa. For 600 years the two groups shared the business of farming, essential for survival, between them. They have also shared their language, their culture, and their nationality. There have been many intermarriages.
Because of the nature of their historical pastoral or agricultural roles, Tutsis tended to be landowners and Hutus the people who worked the land; and this division of labour perpetuated a population balance in which Hutus naturally outnumbered Tutsis. A wedge was driven between them when the European colonists moved in. It was the practice of colonial administrators to select a group to be privileged and educated ‘intermediaries’ between governor and governed. The Belgians chose the Tutsis: landowners, tall, and to European eyes the more aristocratic in appearance. This thoughtless introduction of class consciousness unsettled the stability of Rwandan society. Some Tutsis began to behave like aristocrats, and the Hutu to feel treated like peasants. An alien political divide was born.
After their first delight in gaining power – and, in 1962, independence for Rwanda – a politically inexperienced Hutu government began to face internal conflicts as well. Tensions grew between communities and provincial factions. Tutsi resistance was continually nurtured by repressive measures against them (in 1973, for example, they were excluded from secondary schools and the university). In 1990 RPF rebels seized the moment and attacked: civil war began.
A ceasefire was achieved in 1993, followed by UN-backed efforts to negotiate a new multi-party constitution; but Hutu leaders and extremists fiercely opposed any Tutsi involvement in government. On April 6 1994 the plane carrying Rwanda’s president was shot down, almost certainly the work of an extremist. This was the trigger needed for the Hutus’ planned ‘Final Solution’ to go into operation. The Tutsis were accused of killing the president, and Hutu civilians were told, by radio and word of mouth, that it was their duty to wipe the Tutsis out. First, though, moderate Hutus who weren’t anti-Tutsi should be killed. So should Tutsi wives or husbands. Genocide began. (ppu.org.uk)
Up to a million people died before the RPF (some of whose personnel are Hutu) was able to take full control. Unlike the instigators of the killings of Armenians in 1915, and of Jews and Roma in 1941-5, no-one tried to keep the genocide in Rwanda a secret. Journalists and television cameras reported what they saw, or what they found when the genocide was over.
On April 7, 2014 Rwanda will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the start of the genocidal slaughter. More than 800,000 people died over 100 days.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda resulted in the systematic massacre of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in less than 100 days.
“Mass graves: The 1994 genocide saw more that 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus hacked or shot to death”
It cites one meeting at Muyange Primary School: ‘During that meeting, Ugirashebuja told people to identify and get rid of the enemy.
‘He told them that if they didn’t do it, the enemy would push them in Lake Kivu.
‘He urged Hutus to kill Tutsis and to destroy their property. After that meeting, massacres escalated.’
At another gathering in a village called Progress, the former mayor is accused of telling villagers that peace had been restored and all Tutsis should come home.
The indictment adds: ‘All the Tutsis who came back were killed.’
“Memorial: A mass grave at Nyanza on the outskirts of Kigali, where around 2,000 Tutsis were massacred during the Rwandan genocide on 11 April 1994″
Headstones are reflected in a photograph that is leaning against the headstone for Iraq war casualty U.S. Army Master Sgt. Tulsa Tulaga Tuliau on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq at Arlington National Cemetery March 19, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. Tuliau was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations near Rustimayah, Iraq on September 26, 2005.
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