Colorado Springs Veterans Book Project workshop, Harrell Fletcher arrives

Still at the workshop working with Ted Engelmann on the narrative and layout of his book which will be part of the fifty book library of the Veterans Book Project. Ted has over forty years’ worth of material that he is pulling together in his book. He is a Vietnam veteran that has returned many times to Vietnam to re-photograph the country as a practice of healing. One therapy for soldiers with PTSD is to better understand the difference between then and now. The events of the past are past, so for Ted the experience of seeing Vietnam changed through his camera’s lens has been healing.

Artist Harrell Fletcher with veteran and bookmaker Ted Engelmann.

Ted’s draft is getting fleshed out here.

I’m working with Ted on his narrative.

Artist Faith Purvey working with Joe to photoshop his images into the book layout.

Shots of former N.Vietnamese soldiers made by Ted Engelmann on a return trip to Viet Nam.

Juliet, Monica, Harrell

Joe demonstrating his rope knotting practice.

Monica documenting Joe ‘s rope work for his book.

Joe is an enlisted soldier whose book is a knot-tying guide. He uses this traditional practice to make things like bracelets and rosaries and has found this activity to be a stress reliever for his PTSD. In creating this knot-typing guide, Joe is sharing this healing activity. Monica and Faith are helping him document the process of tying a “monkey’s paw” here.

About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs is the director of galleries and curator of exhibitions at Jamestown Community College in Western New York. She writes the blog "Scene Unseen: Viewing Notes" about visual art in her community.

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