Ayad Alkadhi - Widow Nation (2010)

Iraq has been in a continuous state of war since 1980. Almost every family including my own has suffered a loss in these recent wars. According to the Iraqi Minister of Women’s Affairs, Mrs. Nawal Alsamaraai, an estimated 1.5 million “war widows” who range in age from 23 to 80 exist in Iraq today; 40% are younger than 30 years old.
Many widows do not have steady jobs and are totally dependent on their families and communities to assist them with living expenses and the burden of raising their children. Families living with the sadness of losing a loved one will forever suffer the psychological and emotional effects of that loss, resulting in a negative mindset. Emotional scars will accompany the war generations and their subsequent offspring, weakening their hearts and minds thus creating further disillusionment.
This series portrays the mothers and wives of those who have died in those wars; everyone a victim as much as the portrait of the loved one they hold. I dedicate this series to them.
Ayad Alkadhi, Artist's Statement