Artists who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way are a rare bread, and those who use their work to help others are perhaps even rarer. Photographer, Brian McCarty, is one of these unique artists, and since 2011, he has been collaborating with the United Nations and other NGOs to help traumatized children in war zones. Through his project, War Toys, Brian uses the power of children’s toys, free play, and his camera to help these children process their pain. Brian has worked in places like Iraq, Syria, and the West Bank, and he joins us today to share insights into his work. We begin by hearing about his experience of working in a war zone and the complex emotions these spaces cause him to feel. On the one hand, he is exposed to the darkest side of humanity, while on the other, he sees people trying to help in the most selfless ways. Brian talks about the absurd and trite nature of his work and how this exact absurdity ultimately hooks people and draws them in. This endeavor has not been easy for a variety of reasons, and Brian shares more about the 15-year journey he has been on which culminated in forming a non-profit last year. Naturally, we discuss the pandemic, where Brian explains why he – like many who have worked in war zones – is particularly on edge about the election and the conflict that may come with the transfer of power. Our conversation also touches on projects Brian has in the pipeline, the immense power of art therapy in high-conflict areas and war zones, and the potential of a documentary about his work being made. Tune in today to hear more.
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For more information and photos, visit here: https://notrealart.com/brian-mcCarty