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We are at war

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on maj 17, 2010

“Burnt-out Humvee at Amalienborg Palace” from Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

I am thinking about the Danish soldiers in Afghanistan these days.
Two separate events have fueled this.

Danish Colonel Lars Møller published his book “we kill – and live with it”
Danish documentary director Janus Metz’ Cannes screening of his Documentary titled “Armadillo” shot in Helmand, Afghanistan.
Both focus on the reality of war and the mental effects on 20 year-olds being sent to the front line.

Now the Danish media are all over it. The microphone is held to the usual voices that deliver the same soundbites as always.
Journalism is so lazy. The job now boils down to scanning the rolodex for people on either side of the argument and then rehearsing them ahead of the “discussion” on primetime TV.

Of course there are plenty of “experts” and politicians willing to deliver the goods. It’s all about promotion in the end.

What I don’t get, is the extreme hypocrisy of people (especially politicians) that condemn the actions of soldiers operating in a reality that they themselves have never experienced and would rather forget.

Maybe Møller and Metz will have helped to open the eyes of these same people. Maybe then we can have a true discussion about why the soldiers were sent in the first place.

As always with war, there is plenty of artistical inspiration.
I started working on this painting because I wanted to bring home the reality of war. Afghanistan like Denmark was a monarchy between 1933 and 1973.

I can’t help but wonder what the danish debate would sound like if this painting was reality.

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