FEATURED in Mixed Media
MEDIUM: mixed-media in watercolor pencil and pastel pencil on bond paper.
I read today about a counter-insurgency program that utilizes foreign soldiers as a new approach to build relationships in Afghanistan.
These soldiers are specifically trained in the Afghan and Pakistani cultures.
They immerse themselves in the culture and they work with the Afghan Security Forces and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Some of their goals are to bring their unique skills to build relationships, build governance and be mentors to government and military officials.
When I read this story which was dated in April of this year I found it to be very hopeful in my opinion of it’s mission. Since the latest developments though I personally question the success but I must struggle not to come to a quick judgment of success or failure in a time of war.
There really is no success or failure in war in my opinion. In my opinion all who are brave enough to do something, in clear conscious that what they are doing is to help others and they are doing such actions as a duty to their country, well, it is a dilemma that is confusing and one I do not want to address.
I just found that the soldiers, those that are called “Afghan Hands” by our government who wear Afghan clothes, understand Afghan culture and try to discuss and resolve issues to hopefully resolve this war may be a solution.
So, my inspiration for today’s drawing of an “Afghan Hand” holding a cup of tea as Afghan National police or government officials or community members listen to what he has to say came to me from the news story I shared with you above-the reason for the Physical globe is that I attempt to put the emphasis on physical terrain and less on political global characteristics which may or may not show country borders.
I felt that this was essential to the portrait to convey the goal, the mission and that for me it must be part of the picture, just as I exaggerated the left hand of the “Afghan Hand”.
The point is essentially that taken as a whole my portrait was created today to show to the viewer many symbolic references one of which includes that from my research many other countries besides the United States are part of this program utilizing Afghan Hands and therefore it is global.
This is also the reason for mixed media because of the mixture of cultures involved in resolving the issue of understanding and connecting to a culture in order to end the war and build relationships instead of ending lives.