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The hidden face of war

Women Against War members held pieces from the traveling art exhibit "Windows and Mirrors" on the steps of the Legislative Office Building in Albany on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Women Against War members held pieces from the traveling art exhibit "Windows and Mirrors" on the steps of the Legislative Office Building in Albany on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Submitted Photo

— When you think of war, images of fatigue-clad soldiers and tanks rolling through the desert almost immediately come to mind. But what about the innocent victims of war, the displaced families or civilian deaths?

Women Against War, a Delmar-based group of Capital District women united in peace and by the common thread that war is not the answer, wanted to remind people of the invisible faces of war. So, with the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan as a backbone, the timing was perfect to bring “Windows and Mirrors” to the area.

“I think the arts are always a very important way to get across a message,” said Barbara Spring of Albany.

Spring was the driving force behind taking “Windows and Mirrors” local. The traveling art exhibit originally started in Philadelphia but has expanded to cities across the country. It’s a collection of artwork that captures the civilian side of the 10-year war.

“I was impressed with the heartfelt messages that I felt in them and wanted to share that with the community,” said Spring.

The images she saw won’t soon leave her mind. There’s the mother cradling a dying child and a woman fleeing the bombs. The anguish on Afghan faces is piercing, said Spring, and ever-present atrocities they face day in and day out are plain to see.

“It’s very frightening and it’s hard on everybody,” said Spring.

Spring has seen the impact of war up close. In 2006, she traveled to Iran.

“I think it’s ever more entrenched and I really think we have made as many enemies as we have done well,” said Spring.

As the U.S. prepares to record a full decade of military presence in the Middle East, Spring has her own views on what has and has not been accomplished during that time.

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