10 Years + Counting: Artists Challenge the Dangerous Path Taken By America in the Years After 9/11
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Begun by activists involved with the Cost of War, a project at New York’s Blue Mountain Center, the project has grown from an idea to a “grassroots community of artists, journalists, academics, veterans, educators, and organizations from around the US, committed to exposing the true costs of war and working towards a more peaceful world.” While they maintain a ticker of the amount the US wars since 9/11 have cost us (at the time of this typing, $1,227,769,541,826 and counting), 10 Years and Counting steps away a bit from the gloominess of the facts and allows us to be reverent, to be celebratory, and to creatively find ways to take back our country.
Further, they are encouraging activism as a participatory, lifelong thing that individuals can create in their own images. The project is a democratic open call, which really underscores the heart of 10 Years + Counting. Whereas the world has become tighter, more paranoid, gated-in since 9/11, they’re encouraging free exchange, an open conversation, and community as a way to overcome the dangerous path America has been on since.
It’s inspiring and visionary—a real way for us to unite in a time that will surely be sullied by calls to jingoism and disharmony. But no matter how many voices call for us to devolve further into a terrified police state, 10 Years and Counting reminds us that we can drown them out.
To participate, go to 10 Years and Counting here.
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is an associate editor at AlterNet and a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. Formerly the executive editor of The FADER, her work has appeared in VIBE, SPIN, New York Times and various other magazines and websites.