What makes war possible or culturally acceptable? In attempting to understand the socialization of violence, I started to look at the preliminaries, the places where an acceptance or cultural participation in war might begin. Consumerism and boyhood fantasy became places to explore – sites of play, where cultural information is dispersed and identities rehearsed. This project uses re-photography, to recontextualize images from online catalogs offering Boys Military Costumes for sale. Like any commercial image in a catalog, these photographs are designed to appeal to their demographic – here being boys and their parents (who will complete the online transaction). Through a simple commercial exchange, ideals of strength, patriotism, heroism and bravery are easily attained. War becomes play, boyhood adventure, without the inconvenience of deployment and all it entails; boredom, bloodshed, injury and/or death.
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