Explores the ambiguities and contradictions that disrupt the assumed boundaries of battle zones
Against the fabric of suffering that unfolds around more spectacular injuries and deaths, The War In-Between studies visual depictions of banal, routine, or inscrutable aspects of militarized violence. Spaces of the in-between are both broader and much less visible than battlefields, even though struggles for survival arise out of the same conditions of structural violence. Visual artifacts including photographs, video, data visualizations, fabric art, and craft projects provide different vantage points on the quotidian impacts of militarism, whether it is the banality of everyday violence for non-combatants or the daily struggles of soldiers living with physical and emotional trauma.
Three interrelated concepts frame the book’s attempt to “stay” in the moment of looking at visual cultures of survival. First, the concept of the war in-between captures those interstitial spaces of war where violence and survival persist side-by-side. Second, this book expands the concept of indexicality to consider how images of the in-between rely on a range of indexical traces to produce alternative visualities about survival and endurance. Third, the book introduces an asymptotic analysis to explore the value in getting close to the diverse experiences that comprise the war in-between, even if the horizon line of experience is always just out of reach.
Exploring the capaciousness of survival reveals that there is more to feel and engage in war images than just mangled bodies, collapsing buildings, and industrialized death. The War In-Between, Kozol argues, offers not a better truth about war but an accounting of visualities that arise at the otherwise unthinkable junction of conflict and survival.