Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kevin Sites' In the Hot Zone Book and DVD

My Memorial holiday was spent in bed, sick. I was too ill with a head cold (yes, I'm a wimp) to move around, but not sick enough to just sleep. So I wrapped my head in pillows to press against a dull headache and read most of Kevin's book "In the Hot Zone." A fitting memorial day activity.

David spent a year covering all the world's war zones. The documentary DVD that accompanied the book (a pretty cool mixing of mediums that convinced me to buy the book) is almost overwhelming in its' imagery. What makes the book a valuable addition is all the background information it includes. We not only "see" the African women who have been raped by insurgents but learn of Kevin's struggle over whether to show their faces. (He does not.)

The reason I am posting this book here is because of the way Kevin mentions art throughout the book. Whether a Haitian cutting beauty from an oil drum can, or a couple painting idyllic landscapes inside a bombed out apartment building, Kevin peppers his retelling of all the misery he saw with acts of creation. Not mentioned in the documentary, they are a counter to the act of destruction. It's not an even draw but it does show the power of art to heal, provide hope, and save us from our worst selves.

This weekend some friends gave me a new bumper sticker that says "Make Art, Not War." I smiled when I first saw it and thought immediately of Kevin and his project.
I will display it with conviction strengthened by the art Kevin has given us in his writing and documentary. Visit his site.

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