This documentary is about Canadian artist Deryk Houston, who in 1999, had a life-altering journey to Baghdad. Unable to remain an outside observer of the crisis in Iraq, Deryk travelled to witness first-hand the impact of international sanctions on the Iraqi people. Compelled to speak out, the artist embarked upon a unique nature art project designed to call attention to the situation of the children of Iraq. Using rocks, gravel and hay, Deryk began to create large-scale art installations in the image of a mother and child against diverse landscapes around the world.
Ages 14 to 17
Arts Education - Visual Arts
History and Citizenship Education - Civil Rights and Freedoms
History and Citizenship Education - Issues in Society Today
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Students should have some prior knowledge about the war in Iraq to better understand Houston’s art based on that event. Discuss the far-reaching role of international sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people by the United Nations after 1991. Have students comment on Houston’s belief that art is “a record of our times.” What does Houston hope to accomplish with his peace sanctuaries around the world? For additional information on Deryk Houston, go to his website.