CARS HOMES JOBS

Artists’ focus: Afghan civilians

Thursday, October 13, 2011
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The Women Against War national tour art exhibit - Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, is memorializing Afghan civilian casualties that will be displayed at seven area venues in the Capital Region from October 12th  through November 12th.
This traveling exhibit was initiated on Wednesday with a  Press Conference at the Legislative Office Building. Over 50 area women dressed in the black of traditional mourning were holding 25 works for display and speakers will provided context for the project. The opening week of this exhibit marks the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
The Women Against War national tour art exhibit - Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, is memorializing Afghan civilian casualties that will be displayed at seven area venues in the Capital Region from October 12th through November 12th. This traveling exhibit was initiated on Wednesday with a Press Conference at the Legislative Office Building. Over 50 area women dressed in the black of traditional mourning were holding 25 works for display and speakers will provided context for the project. The opening week of this exhibit marks the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.

— A traveling collection of artwork meant to memorialize civilian casualties in the 10 years since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan will be featured at seven Capital Region venues throughout the coming weeks.

The exhibit’s national tour — called “Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan” — began its regional opening in Albany on Wednesday in the Legislative Office Building. It is being sponsored locally by the Capital District Women Against War, who believe women can develop alternatives to violence.

“It is our hope that as those in the region view the powerful images here, the art will provide windows that allow us to begin to grasp the enormity of the human cost of this endless war,” said organizer Maureen Aumand.

The exhibit was an initiative by the Quaker organization, American Friends Service Committee, which put out a call to artists in 2009 to create pieces that reflected the human cost of war, especially on the innocent. Within the year, more than 40 artists had contributed murals.

The local exhibit will feature a selection of 25 of the murals, including one by Woodstock artist Christine Moss. At some points the exhibit will be divided and appear at two locations at the same time.

At the event on Wednesday, 50 of the group’s members dressed in black to mourn those lost and stand together “in solidarity for peace.”

At a glance

A look at where the traveling exhibit will be:

Oct. 13–20: Skidmore College in the Wilson Memorial Chapel from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Oct. 14–19: Albany International Gallery at Proctors in Schenectady 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Oct. 24–28: Russell Sage College in Troy at the Schacht Fine Arts Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday.

Oct. 29–Nov. 11: The College of Saint Rose in Albany at the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 5 p.m. weekends.

Oct. 31–Nov. 10: Union College in Schenectady on the second floor of the Social Sciences building 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Over the years, the group has raised nearly $12,000 for the Afghan Project, an organization that works to bring clean drinking water and education to Afghan villages. Last year enough money was raised to install a well in a village of 6,000 people south of Kabul and an educational center was built to allow children to begin elementary school and for women to learn a trade.

“We have great hope for this village as a model, and we hope to influence policymakers to redirect U.S. taxes,” said photojournalist Connie Frisbee Houde, who has visited Afghanistan four times in the last 10 years. “It takes $1 million a year to employ a soldier and instead this could be spent for projects like this well.”

According to Leila Zand, who works with the nonprofit interfaith peace organization, Fellowship of Reconciliation, in Afghanistan, “Evidence shows there is no improvement in Afghan lives, security or comfort under NATO occupation than that of Taliban rule.”

“The message from Afghanistan is clear, enough is enough,” Zand said. “Keeping in mind that the average life expectancy is 42 years in Afghanistan, almost every single Afghan has experienced violence and war. They are fed up with this way of life and they want to see change for themselves and for their children.”

The 25 murals will be in the Capital Region through Nov. 11. At some venues, lectures, discussions and seminars will accompany the exhibit.

While the exhibit travels the Capital Region, the local Women Against War group will be petitioning and asking for volunteers to join the group in its work toward peace.

The group would like to see all U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan return home by the end of this year, to immediately stop military activities that harm civilians, a commitment to peace negotiations, and for the government to address the needs of Afghans, including clean water, health care and education.

 
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October 13, 2011
4:42 a.m.
airedale1950 says...

How about a second "sister" traveling exhibit to tour along side this one honoring fallen US troops killed in Afghanistan fighting for the civil rights of these people? How about a few pictures of the faces of Mothers of US Marines killed in the effort to educate little Afghan girls and boys? Probably too expensive to drag THOSE around too....this is crazy...
Where is the outrage about the Taliban shooting women on soccer fields for reading a book, or venturing too far from some mud hole in the ground without her husband's consent. What about the young girls beaten and abused or murdered outright for any number of religiously sanctioned 'offenses'?
Guess what happens to the women and administrators of that village to the south of Kabul and it's education center without US involvement? You got it, a one way trip back to the soccer field.
Do they wish to return to world in which a woman with a sick child who needs a hospital is beaten for bringing that child to hospital because she had no male relative to accompany her there? Or she has to paint her windows in her dwelling black if she has no man because the Taliban made him blow himself up for his god and the death of a couple of soldiers? Or she risks death for venturing out of her home without a proper burqa? Of course the doctor or nurse who would treat a patient brought to them under such circumstances would be severely beaten for that act of kindness too.
Maybe we should get out, and we can insure the rapid return of the Taliban or some other equally medieval Muslim sect to work their magic there. Pull out our forces and our money.

That should give these women and their traveling sob story ammunition for the next One Hundred years.

October 13, 2011
9:59 p.m.
wmarincic says...

My son who was in Iraq will be in Afghanistan less than a month after his first child is born in December. My daughter will be in Afghanistan in June defending these 3rd century people. The Russians could not do it in twenty years and we will not do it unless we do what we did in Japan. Stop all aid to Afghanistan and let them continue to kill each other. I'm so sick of these libs and their paintings and pictures and sob stories. This is exactly the reason we can't complete the job over there, this is a damn war and people die in wars. We have always had wars and we will always have wars. Finish it or get out.

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