The Struggle of War and Peace

Intaglio, 56 x 76 cm, 2005

This etching was made for an exhibition in 2005 by Dutch artists living in Calgary. It was the year that marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in World War II, by mostly Canadian Troops. The exhibition was to celebrate and honour that fact.

History is unanimous in deciding which side during the Second World War was ‘wrong’. The liberation was a just and worthy cause to fight for. In many of today’s complex conflicts, it is not so straightforward to take a similar position. Use of violence sparks more violence and before we know it, there is a downward spiral of death, destruction and suffering of many innocent lives. Despite military propaganda of “precision-bombing” and “reduction of collateral damage” most casualties in the conflicts of the twenty-first century seem to be the lives of innocent civilians. The destructive cycle has to be halted. This can only be reached if the opposing parties lay down their arms, swallow their pride and are willing to negotiate and compromise. Peace is the win-win scenario.

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