Windows and Mirrors Exhibit from AFSC at the Democratic National Convention
September 2012, Charlotte, NC
Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, was an exhibit of 6 foot tall banners and murals that was traveling around the country. It was created by artists from around the world who answered the call of AFSC in 2009 to create a travelling memorial to Afghan citizens who died in the war.
We had seen the exhibit at Guilford College and were struck with the beauty of the art and the power of the images to speak to the human cost of war.
The Democratic National Convention, including the nomination of Barack Obama for his second term, was scheduled for our city, Charlotte, NC, in September, 2012. We had the idea that displaying the exhibit in Charlotte during the convention would make a powerful statement to the delegates and to the large number of other visitors to the city. The exhibit would be a bold statement of the AFSC commitment to peace.
We contacted the director of the NC division of AFSC in Greensboro, NC, and she immediately was excited about the idea. She agreed to contact the central staff of AFSC about making arrangements. A large number of local churches and peace organizations joined together to bring the exhibit to Charlotte.
We located space at a gallery near the convention site. They were enthused about the display. After lengthy planning in Charlotte and with national staff of AFSC, the arrangements were made for installing the huge banners. The day before the opening of the exhibit, the murals had still not been delivered and were we in a panic for 24 hours trying to locate them so they could be installed for the opening. Worried calls around the country eventually revealed that the murals had indeed arrived but had been stored in an obscure location in the gallery. We found the murals and were able to install them in time for the opening.
The show was a great success. We had many visitors from the convention and the community. We had volunteers stationed at the exhibit to engage in discussions. Attendees recorded their reflections in a note book at the exhibit.
At the same time the AFSC Windows and Mirrors exhibit was on display in downtown Charlotte, Quaker House, a peace organization from Fayetteville, NC had a simultaneous exhibit of their work so visitors could see both of the displays.
This experience was an excellent example of how the work of AFSC for peace could be communicated to regular citizens and to some of the political leaders of the country attending the Democratic National Convention.Denny and Jo Ann Fernald
Celo Friends Meeting