Tuesday, April 14, 2009


art+craft=craftivism had a blog entry about donating knitted squares for the codepink's mother's day banner for peace. It is an issue close to my heart because as a mother of a veteran (marines), and as strongly as I supported our military I did something that was unpopular, I was against the war in Iraq.
“freedom means nothing without dissent”
Many paid lip service to that and went after those who questioned the merits of such a war with accusations of being anti american, supporting terrorists, being against our troops. Peace groups became the targets of unwanted attention (government spying), bullying, verbal abuse, accusations, death threats, hatred, etc.
Today I share my voice of dissent with the simple act of knitting a square
using stips of cloth from my son's cammies, and my favourite pink fluflly yarn.
May our children be safe from the machinations and ambitions of those who choose war
and from those who are blinded by fear to follow them.

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Herman Goering
"Leading member of the Nazi Party, convicted and sentenced to death for war crimes"


Undaunted said...

I love that you have used your sons combat clothing in this piece, it makes the message that much more powerful.

Bill Evertson said...

Way to go! Your Goering quote shows how little we learn from history. With our all volunteer armies military moms have a very precarious soap box on which to preach reason. Kudos to your son for his service.

JafaBrit's Art said...

My feeling Bill is that it is wonderful people wish to volunteer to serve in the military but that doesn't give leaders license to abuse that by making them serve the special interests of those in power.

thanks undaunted.

Ralph Ivy said...

Your piece is "peace". A statement well made. It triggered a flashback to the Vietnam War. The Chicago Art Institute. An army fatigue shirt. Carefully pressed and folded. Placed in a presentation box, padded with white silken cloth/paper. And around the left pocket area were blackened bullet holes. Speckled with red. The piece was box-framed and placed on the gallery wall.

Another image is also stamped in my memory. A simple sculpture stand. Atop a baby bottle with nipple lid. And protruding outward from the nipple were needles. A cluster of 6 or more. Simple. But powerful.

I was a volunteer in the U.S. Army, joining at age 17 and serving 3 years in Germany - during the height of the Cold War, after Korea, but luckily before Vietnam. I identify with those who serve. And honor them. Who I do not honor are those as you mention - the leaders and politicians who are not willing to risk their own political/power positions, but are quickly willing to send our young into harm's way - where life itself can be - and to often is - paid.

Thank you for your work. You gave a good day.

JafaBrit's Art said...

Ralph, thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts, and images that made such a strong impression. Sometimes it is so hard to know if our art has any impact, touches people in any way.

I guess can just try and do the best we can.

Philip said...

The war was illegal and Bush, Blair and others should be taken to court in the Hague and prosecuted. It's as simple as that.

Brilliant work and brilliant article!

"All We Need Is Love" - for real. No more testosterone loaded hunter gatherers please.

JafaBrit's Art said...

Philip, I didn't recognize Blair as the kind of Labour I was familiar with,and sadly he proved it.

Lana Gramlich said...

Neat square AND a frighteningly true quote from Goering!

Leanne Pizio said...

I love this touching post. The square with your sons camo is so beautiful in meaning and presence.
Thank you and thanks to your son and everyone who volunteers to serve.

JafaBrit's Art said...

thanks Lana, Leanne,
I remember on sept 11 my emotions were a mixture of horror and personal fear for my son, it rolled across my belly in a ache I cannot describe. That horror and fear got worse as our foreign policy descended into the depths of deceit.

betsy said...

I love this!

I think that as people who have connections to the military its important that we speak out against the foreign policy part. It's a hard line b/w supporting the soldiers but not the war and hard to do!

It's hard to remember sometimes that life it's always so black and white, we're good they're bad dichotomy.

Well done for speaking out, making art and for tackling all the thoughts that come with it.


Maria and Stefano said...

so powerful!!! beautiful!!!

deb said...

What I love about your work is its profound courage and honesty, and its quirkiness. Having witnessed at way to close quarters the governments persecution of one of my undergrad professors (Steve Kurtz of CAE) I have nothing but admiration for those willing to speak peace to power. As Jefferson once said,"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it". Thank your son for his service, I kiss my disabled vet (the hubby) every day!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I agree besty, it is a HARD line but I kept in mind that they were doing their job and doing it well and I admired their courage. It was the boss that was giving them a bad job I was mad at.

thanks Maria, and I am glad to hear your family and friends are okay in Italy.

Deb, thank you for post. It is hard for others to imagine when they are not on the receiving end or actually witness persecution. It sure is ugly.
thank YOUR husband for his service, I have nothing but admiration for our military and would have loved to have seen REAL support for them other than the cheap yellow magnetic ribbons made in china (excuse my sarcasm-but I am guessing you know what I mean).