This in from James Fahy:
We’ve recently seen some incredibly shocking images from Syria. And despite the constant stream of images from war zones that pervade the 24-hour news cycle, the massacre of 49 children in particular has captured us in a collective sense of sorrow. It’s clear that the free trade in weapons has played a role in the massacre, as it has in other conflicts which are disturbingly similar in the scale of destruction and lack of respect for human life. So how can we move from the horrific images replayed by the news cycle to a real understanding of cause/effect, beginnings, endings, resolutions, perhaps panacea? While Amnesty doesn’t have them all, as an organisation it takes a unique approach to getting to the heart of the problem, and to us, with a incredible range of advocacy and campaign activities.
ARTillery Festival is one of those ventures; a foray into the potential of arts and creative expression to illuminate the darkness. This year, Amnesty and ARTillery are making loud noises designed to get a realistic and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty on the table in the global halls of power. But being so distant from Syria, and other zones of intense conflict, it can be hard to grasp even a basic idea of the intense emotions and sorrow that exist there, to fear armed violence, or to have a gun put in your hand at age 12, or to have your local health clinic bombed just as you’re about to give birth. Life continues even in war zones – but how can we find a space to express ourselves inside that?
Scissors Paper Pen and ARTillery are teaming up to investigate this idea of being “At Arms Length” – along with a collection of artists from Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne. Essentially “At Arms Length” is a concept that tries to acknowledge that asking creative people to respond to challenging stories cannot be a request made lightly.
The show is on 29 June at the ANU Food Co-op. There is a website for more information.