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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Iraqis sent Danish peace message
Poster campaign
The posters can be seen in many different spaces
Posters have been put up in Baghdad, far-removed from the usual diet of government propaganda and religion.

The 1,000 posters are the brainchild of two Danish artists who want to get their ironic anti-war message heard by ordinary Iraqi people.

The posters show elephants, mice and cats together with messages like "Trust in Propaganda" and "Kill your Enemy".

Underneath it says in small writing "...and keep life complicated".

The three designs were created by artists Claus Rohland and Jan Egesborg, who say they want to show Iraqis that - despite Danish participation in the US-led invasion - most Danes are against what is happening in Iraq.

"What we want to communicate is a theme supporting the common people who suffer from the presence of the army and the rebels and the war that is going on," Mr Rohland told the BBC.

Posters by Claus Rohland and Jan Egesborg

"Instead of telling people what to do, we wanted to show them what the consequences of some actions could be," he explains.

The third design shows the three mice (a common theme in all three pictures) holding up a massive elephant, and the message "Support the Wrong One... and keep life complicated".

"We wanted to create a kind of small story around these three white mice, with a hidden meaning that makes people think," said Mr Rohland.

"It ought to be the elephant who is afraid of the mice - but who do the elephant and the mice represent? The Iraqi government? America? Denmark? It depends how you look at it."

Local assistance

Mr Rohland admits that without the help of an Iraqi associate - whom they made contact with through a Danish journalist - the project would not have got off the ground.

"We planned to go to Iraq ourselves, but unfortunately the price on Danish heads there is quite high," he explained.

Poster campaign
Putting up the posters required goodwill and guts
Faced with exorbitant costs for security protection - $5,000 just to get to the hotel from the airport - Rohland and Egesborg have relied on part-time media fixer Amin al-Amidi to paste up the posters.

And he has provided an Arabic translation for the text which he also puts up.

Mr Amidi is an enthusiastic supporter of the message, but is well aware of the possible dangers he could face, assisting foreigners make a statement that is as critical of the anti-US insurgency as it is of the US.

"We have asked Amin whether he has been threatened when he put up the posters. He said no, but because he believes it promotes peace he said he doesn't care."

The last of Mr Rohland and Mr Egesborg's 1,000 posters were put up on Tuesday - the day their project got a write-up in one of Baghdad's daily newspapers. But it remains to be seen how much of an impact it will have.

"The only solution for people suffering with the consequences of this war in Iraq is for them not to feel this anger and need for revenge," Mr Rohland says.

"Only the people can provide the solution."

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