Interactive art exhibit documents the experience of war
Monday, Oct. 6, 2014
MANHATTAN — The sacrifices of veterans and the experience of combat are captured in a new interactive art exhibit at Kansas State University.
Folleh Tamba's "A Grunt's War Diary" recently opened at the William T. Kemper Art Gallery in the K-State Student Union. The exhibit is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is on display until Tuesday, Oct. 14. It is free and open to the public.
Tamba, a Marine Corps staff sergeant, has served four tours of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as a rifleman before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in interdisciplinary art and media. He was challenged to transform a veteran's lived experience into a compelling exhibit of contemporary war art by Joseph Carman, director of the 555 Collective, an arts organization that supports survivors of violent trauma.
The exhibit features immersive artifacts documenting Tamba's war experience. Drawings, sculpture, poetry, photography and entries from Tamba's war diaries are embedded with visual and audio to document and replicate the viscera of combat for viewers.
"This is one of the finest exhibits of contemporary war art reflecting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," said retired Army Lt. Col. Art DeGroat, executive director of military and veterans affairs for Kansas State University. "Tamba's work helps communicate what was once the incommunicable experience of war to those who have not lived it."
DeGroat and Todd Holmberg, executive director of McCain Auditorium, brought "A Grunt's War Diary" to campus. The exhibit is part of their multiyear collaboration to use the arts to inform and inspire others in understanding the human elements of war and its aftermath.
"'A Grunt's War Diary' will propel campus and community conversations on the effects of war on our veterans," Holmberg said. "The exhibit also will segue perfectly into the Oct. 14 performance of 'Basetrack' in McCain Auditorium, a multimedia stage production highlighting more real life stories from American warriors."
"A Grunt's War Diary" is presented by the university's Union Program Council.