(Un)Governed Spaces: A Panorama of Afghanistan

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Schmucker Art Gallery,
Gregory Thielker; Noah Coburn; Afghanistan; Middle East; War; Bagram; US Military; US Occupation; Shomali Plain; Anthropology; Art and Design; Military and Veterans Studies; Near and Middle Eastern Studies; Painting; Peace and Conflict Studies
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Artist Gregory Thielker collaborated with anthropologist Noah Coburn to create a complex portrait of Afghanistan today. Featuring a thirty-five foot long panoramic painting of Shomali Plain north of Kabul as well as smaller paintings, photographs, text, and video, the exhibition takes stock of the present political and social upheaval in Afghanistan. Thielker and Coburn look back to the history of conflict and forward to the legacy of US intervention. (Un)governed Spaces focuses on the region surrounding the US military base at Bagram, where the collaborators conducted on-site research for the last three years and examined the rich history of military occupation from Alexander the Great to the Soviet Occupation, the Taliban, and finally, the current US military. In the panorama installation, dramatic mountains and lush fields contrast with barbed wire and concrete of the base, creating a representation of the fractured political and social lives of the people near Bagram.