Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Empathy?

I spent time working on my illustration portfolio and decided to challenge myself and do some images about my angst about Aleppo. I think we have all been haunted by the images, the ones that get out into mainstream that is. I wanted to do a series of portraits of the children, and researched other images.

It was very difficult.

I had to stop after a couple pieces. And I just thought,

But they can't stop. They are smack inside of the mess created by governments of power and regimes of greed with goals they think are worthy. It is all horrific, as any war has been.

A friend said, she applauded my attempt, but could 'not go there'. I understand. Even Martyn felt my angst and suggested I stick to my farm art and happy emotions. But...what can we do to show empathy for them. And empathy needs to lead to other actions in order to help them, and it seems it hasn't. I applaud the aid workers. I've carried limp bodies, but 99% were animals that died naturally. To hold a rag doll child crushed in rubble...how does one get through that, pass through that experience. Maybe never. My father never talked of WWII, he was in four years of Pacific battles as a Marine, and only takes to me in detail about it once. But he loved war movies. As I aged I came to think it was his way of coping with what he saw, maybe it helped it make sense of it.

I, and most of you reading [not all] have been graced with a life without civil war, without bombs falling...I hope that is true for us all as we go towards the future. I just don't know what these images can do to help. And that isn't what doing them is necessary about. But it is what I did to try to share empathy at the moment.