From War to Home, Through the Veteran's Lens


From War to Home, Through the Veteran's Lens

April 10—May 10, 2014

Opening April 10 5:00—6:00 pm

Porter College Faculty Gallery at UCSC
FREE and open to the public

Gallery Hours:
Tu-Sat. 12-5PM
Wed.     12-8PM


From War To Home explores the realities of military service through words and images from Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Running concurrently with a display at UCSC Special Collections of the Combat Paper Project by Drew Cameron. [More info below*]

Sponsored by Oakes, Porter, Cowell, Crown, Kresge, Merrill, Stevenson, Colleges 8, 9, and 10, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UCSC.


Project Director: Gala True, PhD, a VA-funded research investigator and anthropologist.


For more information about the project, please contact:

Anneliese Butler [ or 215-823-5800 ext. 7141]


From War to Home: Through the Veteran’s Lens explores the impact of military service, deployment and homecoming. Forty Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were given cameras and the opportunity to tell their stories to Gala True, PhD, a VA-funded research investigator and anthropologist. The exhibit provides a window into the impact of military service on health and the stress of making the transition back to civilian life.  The narratives also chronicle how Veterans move forward with their education and professions, and provide support and strength to each other. One of the goals of the exhibition is to improve healthcare and access to much needed resources for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans.


"This exhibition is intended to stimulate dialogue and build bridges between veterans and those who wish to welcome them home. Veterans of all service eras will recognize their own experiences and perspectives in these photo-narratives, while members of the UCSC community will gain a deeper understanding of the personal and collective costs of war."—Project Director, Gala True


In this project, the veterans use the camera as a way to bring their stories to life. The words lend dramatic support to the images. Collectively, the words and images inform us of all of the statistics we hear about in the news, but in a way that brings us closer to the issues. Homelessness, PTSD, Substance Abuse, Suicide, and Depression are the extended costs of war, and these veterans expose themselves willingly, hoping that their voice will be heard and society will respond accordingly.


“Veterans in this exhibition are untrained as photographers, yet their photos speak volumes,” stated Mark Pinto, a retired Marine, former Buddhist priest and San Jose photographer. “The photos and stories are powerful, raw, and compelling. They speak clearly of the difficulties transitioning back to society. They provide a glimpse of the systemic failures of proper healthcare and access to much needed services. They also give a hint to the possibilities of how society can help.” Mark Pinto was invited to help select images from this relevant traveling exhibition by UCSC Sesnon Gallery Director Shelby Graham.

UCSC Provost of Oakes College Kimberly Lau expressed, “Given the historical tensions around military recruiting on campus and a generally liberal anti-war climate, it is incumbent on us to open a conversation about veterans’ experiences of deployment and homecoming as part of our campus climate and diversity work.”


Additional Support: VISN 4 Center for Evaluation of Patient Aligned Care Teams; University of California, Santa Cruz.


* Currently at UCSC Special Collections:

An edition of ten portfolios handcrafted by Drew Cameron on paper made from military uniforms and other donated clothing from a workshop held in Marshalltown, Iowa in November of 2011. The words and fibers are from the Marshalltown exchange, reinterpreted by Drew Cameron in this portfolio format while in residency at the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 2012. The text is silkscreen printed with paper pulp.


This portfolio will be on display in the California Room in Special Collections along with writings by veterans of World War I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam and Iraq wars. Dates: April 10 - May 25, 2014.

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