Kadambari Baxi and Miku Dixit
Counter-Memorial, redesigns the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero to account for all victims of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The existing 9/11 Memorial integrates inscriptions of all known names of nearly 3,000 victims who died during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in Lower Manhattan in 2001. The memorial design, and the controversial architectural development of this site, ignores the expansive worldwide aftermaths of this tragic event, perhaps most importantly: the countless lives lost in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Counter-Memorial expands the existing memorial to register the Afghani, American and Iraqi casualties — both civilian and military — following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. These casualties are added as name or numbers and assembled in rows along a spiral which traces the perimeter of the existing twin reflecting pools while extending underneath them.
In the first spiral, the American casualties line the floor while those of the Iraqi casualties run along the ceiling. The two streams of names are derived from existing databases of casualties. In the second spiral, the floor lists the American military personnel killed in the Afghan war and the anonymous names of the Afghan dead line the ceiling. Because the names of the Afghan casualties are even less clearly known than the Iraqi civilians, individual names are entirely replaced by the anonymity of numbers “One, two, three, four…” spelled out in Arabic. As the new inscriptions extend deep into a subterranean void, the two spirals begin to take on the ghostly proportions of the fallen towers themselves.
Counter-Memorial is part of Drawn to Redraw: a series of projects that aim to create an alternative and expanded visual discourse around nine “iconic” demolished or abandoned buildings from different parts of the world, including: Hall of Nations, New Delhi; former US Embassy, Baghdad; and others. Resulting in counter-projects that are documented as large format drawings, scaled models and videos, the series reinterprets the complex political and cultural circumstances around these buildings. It produces an alternative architectural archive that offers ways to view architecture from within many other domains and highlight what is often outside its frame
> MORE INFORMATION on Drawn to Redraw series: available on request by email.
Counter-Memorial Underground Infinite 9/11 Memorial
Large-format drawing, size variable (3' x 6' minimum)
Drawn to Redraw: Underground Infinite 9/11 Memorial, Animation excerpt