The Combat Paper Project
When Soldiers come back from war, they are sometimes haunted by the experiences and struggles that they had to face. Some veterans do not know to handle their emotions so they bottle them all up inside and may turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. Our veterans do not deserve to live this way after serving and protecting our country.
The Combat Paper Project is a way for soldiers to tell their story and deal with their hardships. The Project utilizes art-making workshops to assist veterans in reconciling and sharing their personal experiences as well as broadening the traditional narrative surrounding service 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, beaten into a pulp 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 in the military.
“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. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.”
I was able to attend a workshop that was held at Niagara County Community College, and I was amazed at the paper making process and the stories that I heard and saw. They explain about how they are war veterans and talked about how the war has affected their life, and why they started this amazing project. During the workshop they actually let you be hands on and create your own paper made from military uniforms, and design them. I learned so much from the workshop; it gave me a real view of the hardships of being a solider in war.
Find out more about this project and see when they will be in your area, and how you can participate HERE