Eyes Wide Open

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Exhibit still opening eyes, hearts in Indiana

Nearly ten years after AFSC’s Eyes Wide Open exhibit initially opened in Chicago, the somber array of empty boots and shoes is still moving people to consider the human costs of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Indianapolis mom marks 10 years working for peace and justice

The day the U.S. invaded Iraq was the day the peace movement recruited Erin Polley.

In March 2003, Erin was working in Chicago's service industry, having moved from Indianapolis two years earlier in search of a sense of purpose.

"I had never been politicized before, but seeing all these stories coming out about the Bush administration wanting to start a war in Iraq, I felt like I had to do something," she says.

The Year of Nonviolent Protest

Dear Friends,

Thank you for standing with AFSC and the Wage Peace campaign in 2011!

There are many of you who have worked for years to insure that there would be no permanent US military bases in Iraq and that US troops would leave.

Congratulations, yesterday the last US combat troops deployed out of Iraq.

Eyes Wide Open Connecticut– Boots on the Ground

Friday, September 9, 2011 - 9:00am - 4:00pm

The Coast Guard Academy in New London will hold a Week of Mourning as they contemplate the events of September 11th ten years ago and all that has followed. On September 9th that will include a display of the boots of service members who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan who were from Connecticut. Also on display will be civilian shoes and posters of Iraqi civilians reminding us of the deeply human costs of war.  The event will be open all day and is open to the public. 

Eyes Wide Open Exhibit Comes to Truman State in Missouri

This is a Truman State University news station video about the AFSC Peace Fellows bringing AFSC's Eyes Wide Open exhibit to campus in Kirksville, Missouri. The effort is coordinated by AFSC's office in Kansas City.

Exhibition: Day of the Dead 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 6:00pm - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 6:00pm

Dia de los Muertos exhibit


AFSC's contribution to the Mission Cultural Center's Day of the Dead exhibit by Art Hazelwood and Juan Fuentes. The boots and names on the wall represent Latino Californians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

AFSC, with artists Juan Fuentes and Art Hazelwood, is sponsoring an altar for the Mission Cultural Center's Dia de los Muertos celebration. The altar features Eyes Wide Open boots representing Latino Californians and artwork from AFSC's new traveling exhibit, Windows and Mirrors, which will open locally next year. 

To help organize for the San Francisco Windows and Mirrors exhibit, contact Sandra Schwartz sschwartz@afsc.org.

Our Grief, Still Not a Cry for War: A Day of Solidarity and Remembrance for Civilians & Soldiers

Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 6:30am

The Eyes Wide Open memorial boots and shoes will be on exhibition
starting at 9 a.m as a focus for reflection and remembrance. U.S.
military personnel from Nevada who were killed in Afghanistan or Iraq
are represented by a pair of boots with a name tag. Civilians are
represented by pairs of shoes with names of a small portion of those
killed. The public is invited for any or all of the activities. Events
at the Goddess Temple are free (though donations are gratefully

Chalk This Art Up to Peace

Mary Vincent, an AFSC-Kansas City Program Committee member, participated in the Northeast Kansas City Arts Chalk Walk Festival through the sponsorship of AFSC and the KC Iraq Task Force.

She and a partner produced a “square” of chalk art depicting a pair of Eyes Wide Open combat boots with the caption “The Cost of War.” Hundreds of Festival participants were reminded of the ongoing costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan war by the image.

Kansas City Chalk Walk of EWO 4-10

Chalk art of EWO boots

These “Eyes Wide Open Cost of War combat boots” were drawn by Kansas City AFSC program committee member Mary Vincent for the April 2010 Northeast Arts Chalk Walk Festival.

Eyes Wide Open-The Cost of War to Indiana

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 9:00am - 7:00pm

The Eyes Wide Open exhibit, created by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), is a living memorial to the military personnel and civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan-- and a stark reminder of the human cost of war.
Eyes Wide Open: The Human Cost of War first opened in Chicago's Federal Plaza with just over 500 pairs of boots in January 2004. Since its last display on Memorial Day weekend 2007 with over 3,400 pairs of boots the exhibition has been divided into state displays to travel to smaller cities and towns.

Who we are

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

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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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