Reflections of war on display

A mural that commemorates civilian casualties that happened during the Afghanistan war is currently on display at Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum.
“Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan” opened at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on December 9 and will remain on display through January 30. Before making it to New York, it had made its debut at Philadelphia’s Arch Street Meeting House.
The mural consists of 50 parachute fabric panels that are 4’ x 6’ in size. Artists and students created the pieces. In addition to showing civilian casualties, the panels also depict what it’s like to live in war as seen by schoolchildren in Afghanistan.
One of the pieces in the mural, “Explosive Children,” was created by Queens College graduate student Irene Ulfan. Her panel “depicts four children in silhouette, playing in the shadow of a detonated bomb.”
“Windows and Mirrors” was organized by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which created the mural “to help us all understand the human cost of war in Afghanistan,” according to the organization’s web site. It also explained that “in ‘Windows and Mirrors,’ the eyes of artists and children become ‘windows’ through which we see the reality of war. They also become ‘mirrors’ reflecting back to us our own identity as a nation at war.”
The organization also said that the estimations of the amount of civilian deaths that have happened during the Afghanistan war range from 8,768 to 28,360.
“The AFSC hopes that visitors to ‘Windows and Mirrors’ will join us in the nationwide dialogue about the war and how we can move toward positive alternatives,” said exhibition national tour director Mary Zerkel. “We hope that each person will make a commitment to speak to just 10 of their friends, family, or neighbors about the human cost of the war in Afghanistan.”
Rikki Asher, a Queens College art education professor who is active in New York’s mural community, also was a project participant. She also initiated “Windows and Mirrors” coming to the Godwin-Ternbach Museum.
“This exhibition is an ideal vehicle for educators, students, and the public to explore history and events through visual imagery created as public art,” Asher said.
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum is located at 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, 405 Klapper Hall, in Flushing. It is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information on the museum, visit www.qc.cuny.edu/godwin_ternbach or call 718-997-4747.
After “Windows and Mirrors: The War in Afghanistan” concludes in Queens, it will travel to California, North Carolina, and Illinois. To find out more about the exhibit or American Friends Service Committee, visit www.afsc.org.

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