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20.03.2006 - Worldwide Reading of Eliot Weinberger's "What I Heard about Iraq"

The Peter Weiss Foundation for Arts and Politics based in Berlin is sending out an appeal to commit 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. Since 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 11. 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.