Combat Paper Portfolio

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You Are Not My Enemy. Combat Paper Portfolio 4 (Vermont: People’s Republic of Paper, 2008). Copy 8 of 8. Graphic Arts (GAX) 2008- in process

After six years in the army…[Drew] Cameron moved to Vermont and took a $10 papermaking course at a community college. Something clicked. He began practicing the trade out of the Green Door Studio artists’ collective in Burlington. One night back in 2007, Cameron took his old fatigues out of the closet. “I hadn’t put that thing on my body since Iraq,” he says. “I was thinking about it systematically at first. Where do I cut? Well, I’ll start with my left arm. Then I started feeling this overwhelming feeling of empowerment and emotional expression. I started ripping and pulling at my uniform until I was down to my skivvies.” From those scraps he created the first sheet of Combat Paper.

Combat Paper is a publication of the People’s Republic of Paper, a collaboration betwen Iraqi veterans, activists, and artists. This project is conceived & coordinated by Drew Matott, former director of Green Door Studio in Burlington, Vermont, and Drew Cameron, current director of Green Door Studio and an Iraq War Veteran.

Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, literally beaten to a pulp, and formed into sheets of paper. Veterans use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to embrace their experiences as a soldier in war.

For more information on the Combat Paper Project, see:

One of several videos of the project can be seen at:

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These are amazing.