WW I exhibit, Combat Paper Project to teach veterans how to tell stories
While some veterans return home and go to school or seek employment, military veteran Drew Cameron decided to take a detour.
After returning from a nine-month tour in Iraq in 2004, Cameron took a paper-making workshop taught by Drew Matott. Since then, Cameron has utilized this technique to express himself.
In 2007, Matott and Cameron established the Combat Paper Project, which teaches veterans how to tell their stories of service by turning their uniforms into art, a practice Cameron wants to bring to UH.
Cameron will speak about how paper enabled him to speak about his military service at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Honors Commons.
“It is a wonderful way of ending the centennial (of WWI),” said Irene Guenther, Honors history professor and co-curator of The Printing Museum’s World War I exhibit, “Postcards from the Trenches.”
In the past, the lecture series only had historians visit the campus and speak. Cameron, a military veteran artist, will be more “hands on.”
“The soldiers of the exhibit used art as a form of therapy…to make sense of it… (but it’s) not just the soldiers,” said Guenther, who organized the conjoining lecture series. “It’s a way the community gets involved.”
Cameron will also host the Combat Paper Project Workshop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Printing Museum. Materials will be provided, but for those who arrive before 2 p.m. on Friday, their own clothing can be broken down to become pulp prints the next day.
“(Combat Paper Project) is empowering and effective,” Guenther said. “It really brings the community together.”
Talks at UH and the museum have served to bring the community – past and present – together. The final workshop will be a direct way to become involved in the emerging language of war and the roles all citizens have.
“Just because they are on the front lines doesn’t mean we don’t have a task,” Guenther said.