Bearing Witness: Perspectives on War and Peace from the Arts by Sherrill E. Grace, Patrick Imbert, Tiffany Johnstone

By Sherrill E. Grace, Patrick Imbert, Tiffany Johnstone

As the centenary of the nice struggle methods, electorate world wide are reflecting at the heritage, trauma, and losses of a war-torn 20th century. it really is in remembering earlier wars that we're without delay faced with the profound horror and agony of armed clash and the expanding elusiveness of peace. The individuals to Bearing Witness don't presume to unravel those troubling questions, yet galvanize new varieties of mirrored image. They discover literature, the humanities, historical past, language, and pop culture to maneuver past the language of rhetoric and commemoration supplied by way of politicians and the army. including nuance to discussions of warfare and peace, this assortment probes the knowledge and perception created within the works of musicians, dramatists, poets, painters, photographers, and novelists, to supply a posh view of the ways that battle is waged, witnessed, and remembered. A compelling and informative assortment, Bearing Witness sheds new mild at the influence of struggle and the facility of discomfort, heroism and reminiscence, to reveal the human roots of violence and compassion. members comprise Heribert Adam (Simon Fraser University), Laura Brandon (Carleton University), Mireille Calle-Gruber (Université los angeles Sorbonne Nouvelle), Janet Danielson (Simon Fraser University), Sandra Djwa (emeritus, Simon Fraser University), Alan Filewod (University of Guelph), Sherrill Grace (University of British Columbia), Patrick Imbert (University of Ottawa), Tiffany Johnstone (PhD Candidate, collage of British Columbia), Martin Löschnigg (Graz University), Lauren Lydic (PhD, collage of Toronto), Conny Steenman Marcusse (Netherlands), Jonathan Vance (University of Western Ontario), Aritha van Herk (University of Calgary), Peter C. van Wyck (Concordia University), Christl Verduyn (Mount Allison University), and Anne Wheeler (filmmaker).

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Reenactment culture can function as a simulation to field test historical knowledge, especially of tactics and equipment. As such, it can include serious military historians. It also serves as a social forum for collectors of militaria, and this is particularly true of twentieth-century reenactment units that strive to kit themselves in authentic gear. (If you own a 24 bearing witness Soviet t-34 tank, well, you might want to dress up and drive it). This reinforces the idea that the experience of warplay operates as somatic proof of ideological interpretations of history.

In the logic of military culture, he is not a soldier because he has no honour, and he has no honour because he has no uniform. ”14 In the sense that warplay rehearses the procedures of warfare, it can be said to militarize war by reducing our understanding of war to the operations and structures of military forces, to requisition, parade, deployment, and manoeuvre, and to the structures that enable the privilege that Omar Khadr is denied. But warplay cannot testify to what it cannot enact. Every warplayer understands that play cannot cross the ontological boundary between performance and death, but the more problematic ethical challenge is that warplay manifests order but cannot play disorder.

However, I believe that the responsibility to foster the will to change – to “disarm history” and imagine relationships differently – does rest with writers, artists, 14 bearing witness and humanists. No one in this volume has the answer to Varley’s compelling question; however, together these essays serve to open minds and imaginations to possible answers by bearing witness, by exposing some of the gaps in understanding, in archival silences, and in abuses of language, and by suggesting creative ways to move beyond the binaries of power and othering.

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