As Democratic delegates gather in Charlotte, N.C. to weigh in on their political party’s platform for the next four years, a silent cadre of Afghan faces will ask them to consider the people affected by those policies.
Eighteen murals depicting civilians wounded or killed during the war in Afghanistan will be displayed in the midst of the Democratic National Convention from Sept. 1-8. They are replicas of the murals of "Windows and Mirrors," AFSC’s exhibition of 45 murals created by U.S. artists.
The exhibit has been displayed across the county, including in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, and West Virginia, generating conversation and emotion at every location. (Watch a video from the 2011 exhibit at Guilford College in North Carolina.)
Together, the murals humanize the impact of war on those caught in the crossfire; they are windows on a war-torn country and mirrors reflecting our own identity as a nation at war. Though the war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history, for many Americans it is largely invisible.
By exhibiting "Windows and Mirrors" during the convention, the Charlotte Friends Meeting hopes to bring this issue back into the conversation.
“When I first saw it displayed at Guilford College in Greensboro last year, it was very powerful and I thought it would have a good message for lots of people,” says Denny Fernald, a member of the meeting. “I knew there would be a high visibility at the DNC.”
The meeting worked with several faith and peace groups in the Charlotte community to bring the exhibit to the convention. “It’s been a community-wide effort,” Denny says. “We hope to have an impact on policy makers and people who can influence government policy.”
The exhibit will be displayed at Spirit Square. An opening reception will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 with music and stories by Jacob George, a former paratrooper who is now a bicycling peace activist.
Other peace and justice organizations, including AFSC partners, will hold additional peace and justice events throughout the convention, inviting delegates and community members to engage in conversations about immigration and economic justice.