War Is Trauma is a portfolio of handmade prints produced by the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative in collaboration with the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).
This portfolio transpired out of a street poster project, from November 2010, which a number of Justseeds artists provided graphics for “Operation Recovery” – a campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops and win service members and veterans right to heal. Posters were pasted in public, replacing many corporate advertisements, to focus public attention towards the issues not being discussed – GI Resistance, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual assault in the military or Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The action led to another collaboration between Justseeds and IVAW – an “Operation Recovery” booklet published by Printed Matter in NYC.
For the War is Trauma portfolio, over 30 artists from Justseeds, IVAW, and our allies have each created a print that addresses “Operation Recovery,” its larger goals of supporting service member and veterans right to heal, GI resistance, challenging the culture of militarism in the US, and ending the war in Afghanistan. A total of 130 portfolios have been created that we hope inspire 130 exhibitions that can act as a starting point to bring different people together – veterans, civilians, Iraqis, Afghans, and others to dialogue on issues.
The prints in War is Trauma are housed within a handmade paper cover from the Combat Paper Project – paper whose source material derives from military uniforms that veterans have cut into small piece, mixed with water, and pulped into paper as part of the healing process. Drew Cameron of the CPP writes, “The batch that I made for the portfolio is mostly created from Army Combat Uniforms that we were worn with the Stryker battalions out of Fort Lewis, WA. These are the same guys who rolled out of Iraq early back in July 2010. I also added Egyptian cotton to strengthen it. I like to imagine that the mill workers who made the cloth I used were the same one’s rising up last spring.”
War is Trauma is designed as an organizing tool to raise awareness about IVAW, Operation Recovery, and GI resistance, and is part of an on-going series of collaborations between Justseeds and IVAW. The website and copyleft downloadable graphics are here.
Past collaborations include:
- Exhibitions of the JS-IVAW prints in Chicago, Evanston, Lawrence, KS, Brooklyn, to name a few.
- JS-IVAW Street Art Action – Chicago, Nov. 2010
- Temporary Conversations – Nicolas Lampert interviews Aaron Hughes.
- Printed Matter booklet “Operation Recovery” – designed by Josh MacPhee.
- Support GI Resistance patches by Kevin Caplicki.
- War is Trauma t-shirt design by Erik Ruin.
- PTSD shadow t-shirt design by Nicolas Lampert.
- War is Trauma silkscreen poster set – 5000 print run by Jesse Purcell featuring 5 designs from the portfolio series (images by Hughes, Caplicki, Lampert, Ruin, and Purcell.)
Allies: Bay Area Civilian Soldier Alliance (Siri Margerin & Nave Fortin Michael Rakowitz), Marshall Weber, Dan S. Wang, Harrell Fletcher & Transformazium with Brettiny Hucks, Gayla Jean Clemons, Deon Archie, Deshon LeGrand, Temporary Services