Notes to Boy Soldier:
The boy is young, far too young to know what war is. He has no shirt
on so it is probably a warm day and he could be playing outside
but he prefers to play at the computer. On the bunk behind him his
sister sits playing with her dolls.
The boy's pale skin is unprotected and the title of the painting
highlights his vulnerability.
Our televisions make it difficult for us to escape war imagery
and I suspect many of us block it out because we feel so powerless
to change it. When we read the title of this rather innocuous painting,
the imagery we seek to suppress suddenly assails us. Our hearts
sink. We think of the military-industrial complex and its slick
promotions. We hope that this child's wars are only ever on the