Wednesday, July 07, 2010

War, Literature, and the Arts

"What Happened Yesterday in Baghdad," an essay by RBM about understanding the Iraq War through voice-overs and conversations with Iraqi students, will appear in a forthcoming issue of War, Literature, and the Arts. More about WLA, a journal of the U.S. Air Force Academy:
From time immemorial, war and art have reflected one another, and it is this intersection of war and art that WLA seeks to illuminate. If it seems to fall to the historian to make distinctions among wars, each war’s larger means and ends, the trajectory for the artist, regardless of culture or time, seems to fall towards an individual’s disillusionment, the means and ends of war played out in the personal. For the individual soldier, the sweeping facts of history are accurately written not in the omniscient, third-person plural, but in the singular first. We live in a culture that values the individual. Our works of art about war mirror this welcome bias.
Update -- The 2010 WLA Conference runs September 16-18 in Colorado Springs and will feature a reading by RBM of "What Happened." From the conference's online schedule:
Thursday, 16 September

Session 2: 0950-1045

WAR COMMENTARY PANEL: Greg Dandeles (“The War in Peace: The Armed Forces of Liberia Loses a Soldier”), Leila Levinson ("Cracking Open the Silence: What War Bequeaths to our Children"), Raul Moreno (“What Happened”)

Moderator: Byron Calhoun

Lecture Room 3
Other conference presentations include Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker), Benjamin Busch (The Wire, Generation Kill), Dexter Filkins (The Forever War), and Brian Turner (Here, Bullet). To attend, e-mail RBM or visit the conference's registration page by August 15.


  1. congrats on the publication. glad to have you back in the US, dude.

  2. Thank you, my friend, and I look forward to catching up. I'm due back in Colorado by the first week of August.