today's programme has a feature (with interviews) on the incredibly powerful Combat Paper Project, which is currently visiting the UK.
The story of the soldier, the Marine, the men and the women and the journeys within the military service in a time of war is the basis for this project. The goal is to utilize art as a means to help veterans reconcile their personal experiences as well as broaden the traditional narrative surrounding service, honor and the military culture.
Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beat and formed into sheets of paper. Veterans use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to embrace their experiences as a soldier in war.
The Combat Paper Project is based out of Green Door Studio in Burlington, VT and has traveled throughout the United States. This project is made possible by a multifaceted collaboration between artists, art collectors, academic institutions and combat veterans.
Through ongoing participation in the papermaking process, combat papermakers are attempting to progress from creating works specific to their military experiences to expressing a broader vision on militarism and society. The work reflects both the anger of the past and hope for the future. Through this collaboration between civilians and veterans, a much-needed conversation is generated regarding our responsibilities to the returned veteran and an understanding of the dehumanizing effects of warfare.
The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reclaiming that association of subordination, of warfare and service into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.
The Combat Paper Project is a collaboration initiated by Drew Matott and Drew Cameron, involving war veterans, activists and artists.
Mark did a feature on the church response to the violence and intimidation against a Romanian Roma community in Belfast this past week. i may not typically find much resonance with the conservative theology of the churches involved but their social justice-as-gospel response to this situation has been exemplary and humbling.