Debi Cornwall: Necessary Fictions
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Debi Cornwall: Necessary Fictions

Debi Cornwall, Makeda Best, Roy Scranton, Sarah Sentilles, Nomi Stone

From the author of Welcome to Camp America, an eerie exploration of America’s performance of power and identity in the post-9/11 era What are the stories we tell ourselves, the games we play, to manage unsettling realities? Made on ten military bases across the United States since 2016, Necessary Fictions documents mock-village landscapes in the fictional country of Atropia and its denizens, roleplayers who enact versions of their past or future selves in realistic training scenarios. Costumed Afghan and Iraqi civilians, many of whom have fled war, now recreate it in the service of the US military. Real soldiers pose in front of camouflage backdrops, dressed by Hollywood makeup artists in moulage –fake wounds–as they prepare to deploy. Brooklyn-based conceptual documentary artist and former civil rights lawyer Debi Cornwall (born 1973) photographs this meta-reality–the artifice of war–presented in the book with a variety of texts to provoke critical inquiry about America’s fantasy industrial complex. The book includes an essay by PEN Award-winning critical theorist Sarah Sentilles.

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