These paintings were a passion project for Oliver James, photographs of two child soldiers during the civil war in Yemen and Liberia.
The Artist Oliver James was inspired by the cyclical, poor-to-army pipeline that so many people face in this country and others like it. James wanted to dive into the painful reality that many children of color experience the full severity of systemic oppression, only to be offered a way out of those same systems by asking them to sacrifice their minds and bodies to help perpetuate the same systems of oppression in other countries and communities of color. Often the same communities of color where our ancestors were from, where resources and economic opportunities are stolen to profit the US and other colonizing nations.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word”. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Using acrylic paint on 36"x 48"' plywood, this three-layer stencil style with African textile patterns was painted on a text background.
Design: The Artist Oliver James
Original Photos: Patrick Robert - Corbis, AFP Contributor
Photography/Videography: Oliver James