Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Window and Mirrors

Around Thanksgiving time I was beyond proud of how ahead of the game we seemed. Yes, bringing the exhibit Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan was a major undertaking but we had started the planning process at least six months in advance. We, at the AFSC: Area Office of the Carolinas, were ahead of the game, we were being proactive. But, alas, the months have flown by and the day that those forty some compelling murals arrive here in Greensboro seems to be fast approaching. Looking back at the past few months we have come a long way, in fact the entire exhibit has come along. As it has been polished, expanded, and deepened since I was first introduced to it in its inception period at the very beginning of the summer of 2010. It’s impressive to see the impact of the spirit in the works of so many over such a short period of time.

I was introduced to WAM through a test of my creative packing skills (which perhaps Mary or whoever received the murals in Chicago can attest are not very creative or effective). My first week interning at AFSC my area coordinator asked me to box up the four gloriously breathtaking murals that had been created at Guilford College that spring and ship them off to Chicago. After rolling, rolling and rerolling the murals with what was probably an excessive amount of bubble wrap the four murals, and the pride of the office, were shipped off to join the others as they were collected for the exhibit. Since then everyone in the office has been eager to see the return of these murals to Greensboro as they bring along their companion murals, all of the supplemental materials and hard work of so many across the country and the opportunity to dialogue with our community about Afghanistan and peace.

Skimming through the online images of the exhibit as they are on display in Philadelphia and New York, I’ve often thought about how the full exhibit will look here in Greensboro. Will the murals inspire viewers to do something for peace? Will the events currently being planned strike a chord, incite someone to ask “Why?” who has never before questioned the images of war they have seen on late night news? Will local students look at the work of their peers in Afghanistan and be motivated to work for change? I can only hope that Windows and Mirrors reaches its full potential here in Greensboro, leaving a lasting impact on our community. Our committee has worked tirelessly to provide the best space for dialogue, plan events that reach a broad spectrum of folks within North Carolina, and build lasting partnerships that we can continue to strengthen in our efforts to work for peace. I can only thank the countless groups and individuals that have made WAM what it is today, and hope that it continues to open eyes and hearts to the human cost of war. Our planning days are numbered; WAM opens in Greensboro, NC March 25th 2011! Look out for a detailed list of events soon!

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