Monday, February 13, 2006


Kent Johnson sent me a note, asking me to promote the following:

Anniversary of the Political Lie -20th of March

An Appeal for a worldwide reading of Eliot Weinberger's "What I Heard about Iraq" on 20th of March 2006, to mark the third anniversary of the outbreak of the war

The Peter-Weiss-Foundation for Art and Politics based in Berlin is sending out an appeal to commit the 20th of March (the third anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq) as an anniversary of the political lie. The purpose of the events and activities linked to this day should be to heighten awareness about contents and forms of political communication and to expose and criticize the political lie – academically, artistically or in form of caricatures. Although at the beginning of the 21st century it is evident that the lie still belongs to the standard set of certain political movements, it has to be made clear at the same time, that the forces which oppose it do not yield. The first anniversary of the political lie will be held on 20th of March 2006 in different cities worldwide and among other events with readings of Eliot Weinberger’s “What I Heard about Iraq “.

The text is a collage of the statements made by American administration officials and their allies leading up to the war, and then, after the war began, of these same officials, as well as American soldiers and ordinary Iraqi citizens. It is a history of the Iraq war in "soundbites," from 1992 to January 2005. After its publication in the London Review of Books, the text was the most-visited article ever on the magazine's website, and was reproduced or linked on some 100,000 other websites. It has been translated in many languages. A sequel, "What I Heard about Iraq in 2005," was published by the LRB at the end of 2005. See both texts at

Last year, a dramatic reading of "What I Heard about Iraq" was held at the Berlin festival on September 11th. Other independent readings have been held in Sydney, New York, Luxembourg, India, and various other parts of the world. A multimedia stage adaptation has been running in Los Angeles for some months. Opera houses are contemplating creating a libretto using the text.

This Appeal has been signed by Chris Abani, USA/ Nigeria; Darryl Accone, South Africa; David Albahari, USA; Tariq Ali, UK; Hanan al-Shayk, Lebanon/ UK; Maria Teresa Andruetto, Argentina; Paul Auster, USA; Gabeba Baderon, South Africa; Biyi Bandele, UK; Russel Banks, USA; Shabbir Bannobhei, South Africa; Mohammed Bennis, Marocco; Abbas Beydoun, Lebanon; Martha Brooks, Canada; Bora Cosic, Croatia/ D; Bei Dao, USA/ China; Mahmoud Darwish, Palestine; Lydia Davis, USA; Raymond Federman, USA; Jochen Gerz, France; Amitav Ghosh, USA/ India; Juan Goytisolo, Spain; Nedim Gürsel, Turkey;Elke Heidenreich, Germany; Christoph Hein, Germany; Rebecca Horn, Germany; Iman Humaydan Younes, Lebanon; Siri Hustvedt, USA; Victor Jerofejew, Russia; Ko Un, Korea; Hanif Kureshi, UK; Doris Lessing, UK; Simon Levy, USA; Tedi López Mills, Mexico; Claudio Magris, Italy; Michael Palmer, USA; Harold Pinter, UK; Roberto Piumini, Italy; Peter Ripken, Germany; Alberto Ruy-Sanchez, Mexico; Boualem Sansal, Algeria; Alka Saraogi, India; Peter Schneider, Germany; Roland Stelter, Germany; Ana Paula Tavares, Angola; Jutta Treiber, Austria; Tenzin Tsunde, Tibet/ India; Spiros Vergos, Greece; Mphutlane Wa Bofelo, South Africa/ Azania; Abdourahman A. Waberi, Djibouti/France; Anne Waldman, USA; Eliot Weinberger, USA; Jeanette Winterson, UK; Yang Lian NZ/ UK/ China

Readings will be held March 20th 2006 in Athens; Basel; Berlin, Sophiensæle; Bruxelles, Kaaitheater; Calcutta; Durban, Time of the Writer Festival; Everett; Frankfurt, schauspielfrankfurt; Los Angeles, Fountain Theatre;  Magdeburg, theatermagdeburg; Melbourne, La Mama Theatre; New York, Theatre 88; Prague, divadlo Komedie; San Francisco; Zürich, Theater am Neumarkt and other cities.

Signatures for this appeal and ideas for the Anniversary of the Political Lie on March 20th 2007 are welcomed.

Warmest Wishes
Ulrich Schreiber
Peter-Weiss-Foundation for Arts and Politics
nienstr. 156/157
10115 Berlin

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