Throughout this project we touched so many different subjects, we started this project by looking into the cold war and the red scare, we studied the evolution of the red scare. After we did this we discussed the start of the Vietnam war, we took a week to study the pentagon papers and then do a timed write on the Gulf of Tonkin incident. This allowed us to really dive deep into our opinions on the cause of the US involvement in the war. After doing this we started to read The Things They Carried, a book written by Tim O’Brien. This book for me really put the war into perspective. Previously when I heard about the war I had never really read or heard stories about the traumas the soldiers went through. This book was based on soldiers in the war, as Tim O’Brien represents the suffering they go through simple with objects. The men would carry things to keep them sane, the objects they would carry would be their coping method to get through everyday. They were a connection to home and to the “real world”. This book was one of the main reasons I wanted to look deeper into post war trauma. While reading the book we had many different group discussions about the chapters. Once we read the book we moved onto doing a class seminar about the book where we used critical thinking skills to look deeper into the book and the meanings behind it. All of the work we did helped our class get a better understanding of the war, so we could dig into our own topics.
Before this project I used to really struggle with being able to read a document or a book and analysis past the given text. During the Gulf of Tonkin free write I was required to really look into the documents and find information other than what I was reading. At first this was very difficult for me because I wasn't sure how to really do this. What I later found I had to do was just re read every page very closely while highlighting the text and picking out all of the information. When I did this with each document I then connected my notes together to come up with my decision on whether the US or Vietnamese were faulty for the involvement in the vietnam war. After doing this I was able to produce a paper that I was very proud of. Overall this really helped me for the future, now I know how to use my time better when it comes to reading and textual analysis. One thing that I wish I would have done would have been to use better time management when it came to my art piece. I was very stressed out because I chose to do something very big and elaborate. I could have started working on my art piece from the start of the project. Next project I will now be better to plan ahead of time when I should start working on my project.
For me this project really revealed a lot about the Vietnam war, or me the most impactful thing I took away from this project was hearing the lies of the war. The soldiers were fighting a war for a cause they didn't even know. The Vietnam war was filled with lies, the event that lead to the war, the event that took place and even the cause. When we had the Veterans come into our school, they mentions that they were not fighting for their country and that there was no way to win except by body count. For me this was the most impacting thing to learn because it shows that soldiers had nothing to motivate them, there was nothing they could do to get home unless it meant increase the body count, this form of motivation could be completely dehumanizing. When we were working on the project and building up to end process of creating our art pieces we all had to fund our own way to find something about the war that we wouldn't expect, we needed to find the reality of the soldiers and war in general. I think the most helpful thing was to hear from veterans because we heard their stories and what they went through rather than just reading an article. Watching their emotions they experienced as they talked about their time in way made it real. It showed how much the war impacted them years later and how it will always stick with them. I think that we studied the truth of war now many years later because it helps us make connections to our modern world and its events. It allows us to see the results of different actions and learn from our own mistakes by being aware of our past actions.
My art piece depicts the story of a veteran, when you look at a person you don't see their story or what they've been through you just see a man. From the front of my painting you just see the face of George Usinowicz, you don't know who he is, for all you know he is just your average person. Someone who has always gone home to his family after everyday and went to Highschool. What you don't see is all of the things that have shaped him and changed him, the experiences he's had and the things he's witnessed, he is just a man. The layers in my painting only are seen from different angles, those angle represent the trauma he went through, because he is a war veteran from the Vietnam war. The things he had experienced in the war have shaped him into a new person but the stories that come along with him are not always shared. The goal of my art piece was to express the hidden stories behind war veterans and capture the ways which war stays with them 50 years after the war and how it overtakes them. War takes over their lives it becomes their reality. George Usinowicz was only one of millions of men who were impacted by the war but I wanted to show the emotions he went through. For my project it was a bit different than I expected I went into it studying specifically PTSD in relation to the war but when we interviewed George it made me want to make my project more broad and go into the reality of a war veteran and hear the stories that make him. For my art piece I tried using a very different style than I am used to. My project was a very long process but I was able to develop a lot of new skills.
Created interview Questions
Sadie edited interview into quotes
Photoshop Photo of George
Draw different onto each glass slide
Use masking glue to outline the drawings
Then Paint the image with Alcohol ink
Put glass into the slots in wood
The reason I did glass was so I could create the different layers to express my idea of the things that make war veterans. When I started my project I envisioned my final product to be of a moving light on glass that would cast a shadow. However when we started to share our project ideas with the class my peer sadie had a similar topic idea. As we got into our interview my product idea changed a lot. After doing this style of art it made me very interested in painting, I hope to incorporate this technique into my future projects. Overall I feel that the way my project evolved over the time of the project was a good thing and I was able to produce something I could be proud of.