War Toys by Brian McCarty

Yesterday afternoon, Photoflex Pro Brian McCarty emailed me and sent along a video I have personally been waiting to see for a few months now. Brian has begun an amazing project, a project he calls WAR TOYS.

View the full article to read more about Brian's project and see some of his final images.

Brian explains his thought process, goals, and an end result that he is aiming for.

"WAR-TOYS is a documentary film that follows Brian McCarty as he works to complete his new project in the Middle East. Using Brian’s unique toy photography and principles of play and art therapy, the project explores firsthand accounts of war from the perspective of children living in its day-to-day reality. Working through local humanitarian organizations in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, Brian's WAR-TOYS project focuses on

the latest generation of Israelis and Palestinians that has never known an existence without the constant threat of rocket attacks, air strikes, gunfire, explosions, and incursions.

Footage seen above was produced in early 2011 during Brian's proof of concept journey, working primarily through the Spafford Children's Center in East Jerusalem as well as the Idbaa Cultural Center inside the Deheisheh Refugee Camp. Later this year, Brian will return to complete his project and collaborate with children under the care of both Israeli and Palestinian NGO's across the region.


Palestinian Flag, by Brian McCarty

The outcome will be a series of photographs that are essentially art directed by a small, representative group of children. Toy-surrogates will be placed and posed in accordance to their descriptions, integrated into the actual locations where described events occurred through the use of forced perspective. The resulting photographs will not only provide an interpretive account of witnessed events but also comment on socioeconomic conditions through the use of locally acquired toys, seen against the conditions in which these children live.

The process of creating these photographs will be interwoven into the WAR-TOYS documentary as an element of a much larger story. The course of gathering individual accounts will reveal the work of humanitarian organizations providing psychosocial support and the day-to-day struggles of individual children under their care. The film will include interviews with selected children and their caretakers, intimate vérité scenes of children in their homes and communities, factual information on the traumatic events they have witnessed, and the effects of play and art therapy on their lives.


Kalandia Check Point, by Brian McCarty

By focusing on these children, their personal accounts of war, and the resources available to help them communicate and cope, the photo essay and documentary film will each independently draw attention to a generation of Israelis and Palestinians that has never known an existence without the constant threat of rocket attacks, air strikes, gunfire, explosions, and incursions. These traumatized children are the future of the region, and understanding their varying experiences and perspectives is crucial to stopping a cycle of perpetual violence."

We wish Brian the best of luck during this process. This project has come to mean a great deal to Brian, and it's something he believes in.

If you could put together a project of any scale, what would you do? Tell us in the comments section below, visit us on facebook, or send us a tweet @photoflex.

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