Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

Forgotten Iraq: War on 14th Street by Pedro Lasch

Lasch-WarOn14StPedro Lasch, War on 14th Street.  Image courtesy of the artist.

This year’s AiOP festival, RECALL, brought back to mind the projects and performances of years past, as well as histories both forgotten and pertinent to today’s world.  A prime example of this is artist Pedro Lasch’s War on 14th Street.  Lasch’s project looks at the timeline of the Iraq War and stretches it out over the length of 14th Street, marking each interval with a note in chalk:

“A hand-drawn map of 14th Street accompanies notes written with chalk in a variety of locations between the East and Hudson Rivers. Engaging the ‘call to recall’ the first decade of Art in Odd Places, the piece uses this same time span (2005-2015) to publically counteract and highlight the amnesia that characterizes this time period in international relations. Charting key moments, names, memories, and facts for each of these years in the US-led war in Iraq and the wider Middle East, the work can be experienced as a linear walk from shore to shore, through a decade, starting with 2005 from the East River to First Avenue, and continuing with each avenue representing a year until reaching 2015 at the Hudson. The ephemeral writing is refreshed each day, reappearing in different places. The map and other documentation of these traces is part of War on 14th Street.”

Below we have included Lasch’s timeline with links to major events and incidents from the war.




U.S. forces are the single largest cause of Iraqi civilian deaths –

Twice as many civilians died a year after Iraq was pacified than during the invasion. –

Iraqi and Coalition leaders, journalists unable and unwilling to leave the Green Zone

British forces occupy Amarah after Sadrists win local elections –

Italian journalist shot by coalition forces after being rescued –

A suicide bomber kills 34 children scooping up candy thrown by U.S. soldiers –

The U.S. Military is caught paying for positive stories in the domestic Iraqi media —

Saddam Hussein claims to have been tortured, while testifying at his trial. His testimony is censored. —

The U.S. spends $25 million per day on rebuilding Iraq; the paperwork detailing where those funds go is nonexistent. —




U.S. troops begin paying Anbar Sunni insurgents to lay down their arms; it’s presented as a change of hearts, not paymasters –

Jury convicts Custer Battles executive and former Congressional candidate of stealing $3 million in reconstruction funds –

Wife of convicted Custer Battles executive caught accessing $1 million secretly stolen from U.S. government

A secret Pentagon study finds that 80% of Marine KIAs could have been saved by body armor available since 2003.

80% of Iraqis believe the U.S. is making them less safe –

Secret report finds that no military options can secure Anbar Province –

Al Qaeda destroys the Askariya Mosque, in Samarra, devastating the tourism-centric economy of Salahuddin Province and igniting a Shiite-Sunni conflict.

Infrastructure contractor Bechtel leaves Iraq, leaving more than 70% of its $2.9 billion in reconstruction contracts incomplete. —

Saddam Hussein is executed; mobile phone footage shows him being taunted at the gallows. —



$6.6 billion (200 tons) worth of shrink-wrapped $100 bills go missing – U.S. officials call missing $6.6 billion “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

The 75 year old al-Sarafiya bridge is destroyed by a truck bomb –

The Iraqi parliament cafeteria is bombed, in the heart of the Green Zone –

Dick Cheney and Condolleza Rice both visit Iraq to push for political reconciliation between Shiite and Sunni –

Army Major John Cockerham is indicted for bribery, money laundering and conspiracy after taking millions in bribes to steer Pentagon contracts to specific companies —

Guards from Blackwater – a private military corporation – open fire on civilians in a crowded Baghdad street, killing 17. The company responds by changing its name to Xe. —

British forces withdraw from Basra, handing over control to the Iraqi central government. —




David Petraeus pays former Sunni insurgents more than $39 million in 2008

Investigation reveals more than $10 billion in bogus security and construction contracts –

ICRC reports that millions of Iraqis still lack clean water, sanitation and healthcare –

Blackmarket trade of Iraq’s history frunds insurgents –

George W. Bush dodges shoes thrown at him during a press conference –

1,300 Iraqi troops are dismissed after refusing to take part in a failed assault to retake Basra from Moktada al-Sadr. —

The New York Times reports that Iraq’s oil ministry has been negotiating no-bid contracts with Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, BP, and Chevron to service its oil fields; the contracts are withdrawn after being revealed —

Turkish forces cross into northern Iraq in an assault against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) —

Iraq orders 18 F-16 fighters in a $3 billion contract. —

Iraq receives three missile-armed Cessna Skyvan propeller planes, representing its first airstrike capability since 2003. These will be Iraq’s only air assets until late 2014. —




As U.S. Troops Leave “Pacified” Provinces, Iraqi Deaths Skyrocket –

A U.S. officer is convicted for stealing $690,000 in relief and reconstruction funds

Nuri al-Malaki establishes Camp Honor, a privately-run detention/torture facility housing political dissidents in one of Saddam’s former Presidential palaces —


The Iraqi Minister of Trade and his staff engage in a shootout, in downtown Baghdad, with investigators for the Commission on Public Integrity; the corruption charges are later dismissed. —

Sgt. John Russell, on his third tour of Iraq, shoots and kills 5 service members while undergoing Combat Stress Counseling at Camp Liberty. —

The U.S. embassy in Iraq – the largest and most expensive ever built – finally opens. —





More than 100 people die in attacks on polling places on election day –

U.S. Embassy in Beirut hinders investigation into $1.6 Billion in Iraq funds found in Lebanese bunker

U.S. withdraws ‘designated’ combat troops; 50,000 advisors to remain –

A suicide bomber kills 48 Iraqis at an Iraqi Army recruiting center —

The U.S. State Department announces that private military contractors will take over training Iraqi army and police forces as the U.S. draws down its forces —




When U.S. troops left, U.S. reporters left with them. Iraq became another far-off dateline for decontextualized violence. –

Shiite-dominated Iraqi Security Forces, under the orders of Nuri al Maliki, begin a 2 year campaign of systematic violence against the Sunni minority. –

The Sons of Iraq remain locked out of the Iraqi government, five years after being promised a leadership role –

U.S. officials call missing $6.6 billion “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

The Red Cross reveals that Iraqi Judges are frequently present torture sessions of political prisoners.

The UN reports that 20% of Iraqi households do not have access to safe drinking water. —

Only 18 percent of Iraq’s wastewater is treated, according to the UN. —




Extremists are reported to crush the skulls of “emos” with cement blocks –

Security passes for the Green Zone can be bought for $10,000 —

Iraqi infrastructure is rife with knock-off electrical generation and distribution equipment, as government officials pocket the cost difference —

The Baghdad Water Authority can only produce 2.5 million liters of clean water per day, 1 million liters short of demand.

Some portions of Baghdad receive less than 2 hours of electricity each day. —

The Iraqi Ministry of Planning estimates a $6.8billion cost to reduce the number of Iraqis living in poverty, now estimated at 6 million. —

Transparency international ranks Iraq the 8th most corrupt nation, tied with Haiti. —

Unemployment is estimated at 46 percent, a figure most Iraqis feel is low. —

The State Department announces plans to slash its embassy staff in half —




An assassination attempt in Fallujah fails to kill Iraqi Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi, a prominent critic of Nouri al-Maliki.–

Five anti-Malaki protesters are killed by Iraqi troops who open fire on a crowd in Fallujah —

Disguised as police officers, gunmen occupy and lay siege to the Ministry of Justice —

Demonstrators and government officials protesting the lack of security in northern Iraq are killed by suicide bombers in Tuz Khormato —

Reports indicate nearly half of all live births in Basra suffer from some form of birth defect, which officials attribute to the use of depleted uranium munitions by U.S. and British forces. —

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr describes the post-invasion administration of Iraq as an “adhocracy”. —

Iraqi army and national police forces open fire on a crowd of 1,000 protestors Hawija, for “failing to obey orders,” killing 51. —

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named Iraq the “worst nation” on its 2013 Impunity Index for the number of unsolved journalist murders since 2003. —



Iraq officially closes Abu Ghraib prison. —

Still waiting for delivery of U.S. F-16s, Iraq purchases attack jets from Russia and Belarus. —

Iranian Air Force jets fly strike missions against ISIS targets in northern Iraq. —

Iraq’s Russian attack jets abandon the fight against ISIS and are sent to Iran for maintenance —

17,049 Iraqi civilians are killed, in the worst death toll since the invasion and roughly double the previous worst year, 2013. —




2 million displaced Iraqis are starving –

Unpaid Leaders of the Sunni Awakening Councils embrace ISIS –

Iraq faces a $22 billion budget deficit, nearly 1/5th of its annual budget. —

Iraq’s F-16IQs are delivered, but it has no pilots to fly them. —

An Iraqi air force jet accidentally bombs a Baghdad neighborhood, killing a dozen civilians. —

Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadiq Hasan, an Iraqi student pilot, died when his F-16IQ crashed in the mountainous terrain east of Tuscon, Arizona.

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