Event on Zoom, 8th January 2022
Trauma – Truth Telling – Transition with Tara Leigh Tappert and Drew Matott
This presentation documents the long history of artmaking within military life and as an aspect of the cultural history of war. It demonstrates how creativity has been and remains a powerful outlet for healing and transitioning from the traumas of war. In the 20th century the American military incorporated the use of crafts in two major service areas. During and after WWI occupational therapy and vocational training were rehabilitation tools; and during and after WWII recreational therapy was a leisure activity intended to promote a sense of well-being and efficacy. In the 21st century the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan inspired such top-down government art therapy programs as Creative Forces at the National Endowment for the Arts. Complementing the current government-led programs are many grassroots arts initiatives for veterans, military family members, and refugees displaced by war. Two groups – Combat Paper Project and Peace Paper Project – have used the detailed and methodical papermaking process as a tool to address the traumas of war.