The end of what?

Paper installation

Everyone can have a different view of what war is. However, I am quite sure that the majority would agree it is connected with violence, death, unjustified killings, traumatic experiences, forced migrations, etc. All the words that come to mind have a negative meaning, not connected with winning or losing, because with every death of an innocent person (and they can be counted by the millions) the whole of humanity loses.

In my work, called “timeline”, I mainly wanted to show that war has not ended. But what is even more important is that it does not have a definite starting point. It is not pleasant to realise that war, violence, and cruelty are constantly present in all of our, human history – they didn’t start with the Roman Empire, Napoleon, or the World Wars. “Timeline” is not easy to read, but looking closely the viewer is able to see the very sad message it conveys. The numbers on it are, in fact, years, as the title points out. However they do not end with 2015, they continue into the future. So, even though many of us may think that war (at least from the European point of view) ended in 1945 or 1989, it is not the truth. Still, to this day people are suffering from the monstrosities of war, are forced to leave their homes, watch their families die, watch their houses and countries being destroyed. War, as an action, is continuous, never stops. Even when peace treaties are signed and shooting stops, everything that the people, who found themselves in war zones, have seen and been through stays with them forever. Not only soldiers, but mostly civilians – defenceless, robbed of their childhood, normal life, orphaned. The bruises that wars leave on humans leave a mark on the war survivors’ children and grandchildren. Everyone is touched by the experience of war.

There is nothing positive about the “timeline”, it leaves no hope, it never ends. It is a vicious cycle of human history, in which new wars break out before the old ones stop, not from 1914 or 1939. From the very beginning of humanity.

Urbańska Joanna