The recent launch of the Veterans Oral History Project in North Carolina brings When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans to CDS. The exhibit includes forty large-scale (one is 50 in. x 60 in., the rest are 30 in. x 40 in.) color photographic portraits and accompanying oral histories of female soldiers from all five branches of the military who served in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. While women are officially barred from combat in the American armed services, in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, where there are no front lines, the ban on combat is virtually meaningless.
The exhibit, and a book of the same name (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), is a collaboration between photographer Sascha Pflaeging and author Laura Browder, Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor in American Studies at the University of Richmond. In taking the photos, Pflaeging was interested in “documenting these women visually while the situation is still present, their feelings and emotions still raw and very real.” The resulting portraits, and accompanying text, convey stories that are by turns moving, comic, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking.
When Janey Comes Marching Home will run through April 21, 2012, in the Lyndhurst, Porch, and University Galleries at the Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina.
Click here for slideshows and for more information on the exhibit and the book.
When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans, was made possible by generous grants from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the College of Humanities and Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University. The exhibition was organized by the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, where it premiered in 2008. The exhibition tour is administered by the Anderson Gallery, School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, with additional support from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.