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Every Weapon is a Tool

Michael Rakowitz

This image by Michael Rakowitz is from Celebrate People’s History/Iraq Veterans Against the War: Ten Years of Fighting for Peace and Justice, a portfolio that celebrated IVAW’s first ten years and was produced by Justseeds, IVAW, Booklyn, Repetitive Press, and the Civilian Soldier Alliance.

(IVAW is now known as About Face: Veterans Against the War)

Michael Rakowitz is an artist, activist, and educator living and working in Chicago. He has worked extensively with IVAW and Warrior Writers on his ongoing project Enemy Kitchen, in which he compiles Baghdadi recipes and teaches them to different public audiences. building off this project in 2014 he worked with members of the Chicago Iraqi community and IVAW to prepare the national dish of Iraq, Masgouf, in his project Every Weapon is a Tool if You Hold it Right.


A huge red fish, carp, is held up by two posts in a green field. In the distance an urban skyline and a large Iraqi flag. In the cloudy sky, the text says, “Every weapon is a tool if you hold it right.” Below, in the bottom right corner is more small text.

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