Impact Afghanistan War

From Canada Day (July 1) 2010, through Canada Day 2011 I performed Impact Afghanistan War, a memorial project where I fell 100 times every day in a public space—each fall in recognition of an Afghan death.

Impact was my attempt to reach beyond the numbness produced by abstract numbers, political debates and media spectacularization. It was an attempt to register, through my body, the impact of our (Canada’s) engagement in Afghanistan. In a larger sense, it was an inquiry into empathy, an investigation of the space between “Us” and “Other,” between individual and social grief, between personal ritual and public protest and between art and politics.

Record of falls

Impact Afghanistan War blog archive

Articles About Impact Afghanistan War

Vosters, Helene. “Between Worlds: Reflections on a Year of Falling.” Theatre of Affect (Essays), Volume 4 in the New Essays on Canadian Theatre series, Ed. Erin Hurley, Gen. Ed. Ric Knowles. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press. 2014: 263-274.

Vosters, Helene. Impact Lab and the Halprin Life Art Process: A Practice-based Approach to Creative, Affective, and Political Mobilization. Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research in Theatre Volume 5, Number 1, 2013.

Vosters, Helene. Beyond Heroism and Towards Shared Vulnerability: Re-imagining Canada’s Affective Deployment of Mourning in Response to Afghan War Deaths FRAKCIJA Issue 58-59, (2012): 51-59.

Vosters, Helene. “Impact Afghanistan War.” Emergency Index: 2011. Edited by Yelena Gluzman and Matvei Yankelevich. New York: Ugly Duckling Press. 26-27.

In addition to these self-authored articles, Impact has been featured in texts by scholars in the fields of performance studies and international relations. Impact has been taken up by international relations and memory studies scholar Jessica Auchter in The Politics of Haunting and Memory in International Relations, and is featured in Performance, Diana Taylor’s book on performance and politics in the Americas (2016).