A Powerful Monument of National Mourning

Images and text via isqineeha




This is a draft sketch that elaborates the thought process of Iraqi architect and artist Rifat Chadirji’s when producing the design for the “Unknown Soldier Monument” in Baghdad in 1959. The draft is divided into four stages:
The mother Wailing
She tries to pick up her son
The mother bends to embrace him
She plants her hands and feet in the soil and remains such.
The monument was completed in the early 1960s and was meant to represent the lives Iraqis lost fighting for their freedom and their country. In 1981 however, the monument was destroyed by the Iraqi government after the completion of Khaled Al Rahal’s “Monument to the Unknown Soldier” in 1980. The square which the destroyed monument was erected at, Al Ferdaws Square, became the location for a new statue of Saddam Hussein, the one we all witnessed the Americans branding Iraq’s modern history with shame when they covered it with the US flag as they were trying to pull it down. For the past 10 years, the Iraqi government have been contemplating reconstructing Chadirji’s monument, however, no actual steps have been taken towards that reconstruction.