9/11 Paper Cranes Project

paper crane made with picture of bin Laden, by the author

Since 2001 I had kept a pile of magazines about the 9/11 attacks and the pursuit of Osama bin Laden. A couple of months ago I decided to do something interesting and rather positive with those magazines. It didn’t seem right to get rid of the archive, but I wasn’t happy about keeping it either. I ripped off some pages and started making paper cranes. I folded 20 origami paper cranes with pictures of World Trade Center victims, Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda members and US military – 9/11 Paper Cranes Project. I’ve given some away to friends while the rest is a bedroom shelf. After recent events and promises of retaliation, I figure this is the appropriate moment for spreading the idea behind paper cranes.

Cranes are birds present in various countries, but they have acquired quite a mythological connection with Japan. The Japanese have represented cranes in origami as a symbol prosperity, luck, life and happiness. The story of the girl Sadako Sasaki reinforced the meaning of paper cranes in modern popular culture. Victimized during the Second World War by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, she intended to fold a thousand paper cranes. Popular lore in Japan recalls the legend that a wish is granted to the person who folds a thousand paper cranes, attaching all of them to a string. She died before she was able to complete the task.

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