Saturday, January 13, 2007

claire beckett • m-day

i like claire beckett's photos of national guard soldiers because she shows us a side of the military we don't often see or hear much about. the title m-day stands for what these soldiers are awaiting: mobilization day. as she explains quite eloquently in her artists statement:

"the guardsmen and women have regular civilian lives and occupations, but gather for military service for one weekend each month, and for several weeks of annual training each year. unlike the past, when national guard soldiers served primarily during emergency situations within the united states, today the national guard serves overseas along with the regular army, and makes up a large portion of the american force in iraq. some of the soldiers whom i photograph are veterans who have served in iraq, afghanistan, or previous conflicts. those who have not yet been deployed prepare for the day that they will, which could come at any time. there is a tension in the air during weekend drills, and a new urgency to training exercises." [excerpt via boston university's photographic resource center.]

these images especially struck a cord with me in light of bush's recent plan to send more troops over to iraq. it really startled me to see how young these national guards people seem. see more of claire's m-day series here.

[all claire beckett, from the m-day series, 2006. top to bottom: private eric jiderda. private megan cassidy. private rebecca hill.]