About the Project
In reaction to the spring 2003 declaration of the American war with Iraq, costume designer and artist Adelle Lutz conceived a project designed to remind the public that the victims of war are overwhelmingly children and women. The Peace Piece therefore consisted of women, dancers, and teachers who slowly walked through select public spaces in New York City while wearing hand-painted burkas depicting UN statistics—such as “23 million people live in Iraq. Half are children” and “90% of war casualties are civilians”—while other burkas bore a hand-painted full-term fetus.
Lutz’s performance intended to encourage unsuspecting audiences on the street to pause, reflect, and consider the current global situation. This powerful and elegant performance offered a fresh perspective on world events, encouraged dialogue, and resonated within individual and collective memories, making a difference to the viewer and wearer alike.