Dick Averns produced photographic, video and sculptural works concerning Canadian peacekeeping missions after travelling to Egypt, the Sinai and Israel in 2009. He was hosted by the Multinational Force and Observers (North Base, Sinai) tasked with monitoring the thirty-year peace accord between Egypt and Israel. Averns’s fascination with military culture and memorabilia informs an activist practice intent on destabilizing the rhetoric of the War on Terror. Ambivalence and a sense of the ironic inform the serendipitous conjunctions of locations and texts in his photographs, suggesting alternatives to the inevitability of conflict. An essay on official war art programs by Averns is available on the text page of this site. For earlier work by Averns, click here.
The lens-based media installations of Toronto based artist nichola feldman-kiss were produced in response to her tour of Sudan while embedded with the United Nations Mission in May 2011. She arrived precisely as Sudan readied for north-south division along tense ethnic boundaries. Her work is a deeply personal meditation on the unremitting work of peacekeepers, the cross-generational inheritance of trauma, and the persistence of global migrations triggered by genocidal violence, such as the massacre at the Sudanese village of Kaldak that occurred just prior to her arrival. To access nichola feldman-kiss' website, click here.
Inspired by his family's history in the military, Adrian Stimson, a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) in Alberta, created the installation Holding Our Breath after his deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. Stimson combined painting, sculpture, video and photography to memorialize fallen soldiers in Afghanistan and to honour the Indigenous men and women who have served in the Canadian military. His staging of the ritual smudge ceremony that he participated in at Forward Operating Base Ma`sum Ghar, along with another Native soldier, reclaims “Indian Country” from the military slang that dehumanizes inhabitants of hostile conflict zones such as Afghanistan. To access Adrian Stimson's website, click here.