From Warrior to Artist: How Soldiers Are Tapping Into Unimagined Creativity

The Combat Paper Project is an initiative created by veteran Drew Cameron, who explains, “Coming home from war is a difficult thing. … A new language must be developed in order to express the magnitude and variety of the [experience]. Hand papermaking is the language of Combat Paper. By working in communities directly affected by warfare and using the uniforms and artifacts from their experiences, a transformation occurs and our collective language is born.”

Combat Paper’s motto – from uniform to pulp, battlefield to workshop, warrior to artist – illustrates the profound affect it has on those involved. Participants shred their military uniforms into pulp to symbolically deconstruct their military identities. Then, they compound the pulp into paper, which mirrors the veterans’ formation of a new sense of self and purpose independent of military service. The paper, and their lives, becomes a blank slate. Next, participants paint, draw, design and write on the paper – a process that helps them come to terms with repressed experiences and emotions while creating a new vision for the future.

Read the full article at TruthAtlas


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