This interactive exhibition was presented in April of 2014 on the theater-sized display in the Hunt Library GameLab. This project produced by the North Carolina State University English 585 "War Documentaries" class and Professor Marsha Gordon. The exhibition, promotional materials, and this website were prepared by the NCSU Libraries. "Shooting Wars" explores select American conflicts through the eyes and camera lenses of documentarians. See the video below for additional information. Click here to read the library story and see full interviews with all of the participants.
War on Terror by Gretchen Walters
World War II by Kenneth Pinion
Click here to read the library story and see
full interviews with all of the participants.
The Cold War by Brian Robertson
Project Librarian: Jason Evans Groth
The Korean Conflict by Adam Herbert
The Vietnam War by Marsha Gordon
The Contras by Jason Buel
World War IIA Tale of Two Cities (U.S. War Department. 1946): Attack in the Pacific (Arnold. 19441: Barefoot Gen [Hadashi no Gen] (Masaki. 1983): "Brutal Combat in World War 2" [Archive footage captured from Liveleak]: Buchenwald, Nordhausen. Hadamar. Ohrdruf (U S. Army Pictorial Service. 1945): Crusade in Europe: Preparation for Invasion (Rochemont. 1949): Effects on the Human Body of Radiation from Atomic Bomb, 10/1945 (U.S. Navy. 1945): Hiroshima mon amour (Resnais 1959): Remember These Faces (U.S. Navy. 1943): Return to Guam (U.S Navy. 1944): The Eternal Jew [Der ewige Jude] (Taubert. 1940): The Fleet That Came to Stay (Boeticcher. 1945): The General Effects of Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (U.S. Department of Defense. 1947): With the Marines at Tarawa (Hayward. 1944).
The Cold War(Selected Sources) Arena: Looking for the Iron Curtain (BBC. 1999): CIA (BBC. 1992): Cold War (CNN. 1998): Operation Tumbler Snapper (US Air Force. 1952). Town of the Times (Department of Defense. 1963): Zapruder Film of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Abraham Zapruder. 1963).
The Korean Conflict[Image] From The Big Picture (ABC 1953-59). 'Armed Forces Assistance to Korea, "Army Medical Corps"; "Atrocities in Korea"; "The Chinese Reds Enter the War"; "Fire Power Artillery"; "First Forty Days in Korea"; "This is Korea"; "United Nations Consolidate Below the 38'h Parallel." A Motion Picture History of the Korean War (US War Dept.. 1954), The Korean War in Color (Cassel. 2001): Unforgettable: The Korean War (PBS. 2010).
[Audio] All three audio recordings of 'radio chatter' retrieved from g503.com.
[Text] Crane. Stephen. "War is Kind." Internet Archive; Deleuze, Gilles. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Robert Hurley. U of Minnesota P. 1977: Jarrell. Robert. "Second Air Force" (excerpt). The Complete Poems of Randall Jarrell. Farrar. Straus and Giroux. 1969.
The Vietnam War[Image] All images are from digitized films downloaded from the Internet Archive. with original materials held at the National Archives:11TH LIGHT INFANTRY BRIGADE PREPARES FOR MOVEMENT TO VIETNAM ARC Identifier 32063 / Local Identifier 111-LC-53109 (1967): COMPANY. 1/5 CAV. 1ST AIR CAV DIV ON PATROL FIRE SUPPORT BASE MACE. ARC Identifier 34145 / Local Identifier 111-LC-56443 (1971): ATTACKS DURING TET (LUNAR NEW YEAR). SAIGON. SOUTH VIETNAM. ARC Identifier 31793 / Local Identifier 111-LC-52554 (1968): ARVN Airborne repel Vietcong attack, Saigon. South Vietnam. ARC Identifier 31921 / Local Identifier 111-LC-52748 (1968).
[Audio] Voice of Mike Wallace. newscaster. National Archives - Vietnam Special. This commercial news broadcast explores the Con Thien Battle of the Vietnam War. discussing the location's strategic importance. ARC 653071 / LI 263.1897. Internet Archive.
[Text] All quoted textual material is excerpted from the letters of Rodger Jacobs published in Stained with the Mud of Khe Sanh: A Marine's Letters from Vietnam, 1966-1967 (McFarland. 2013).
The Contras[Image] Contras Nicaragua (Servicio Informativo de Television de la Resistencia Nicaraguense. 1987): Contras Marcha Resistencia Nicaraguense: Cover Up.. Behind the Iran-Contra Affair (Trent. 1988): The Houses are Full of Smoke—Nicaragua (Francovich. 1987): Nicaragua: A Nation's Right to Survive (Lowery. 1983); "Nicaragua: The Dirty War." West 57th (CBS. 1984): Nicaragua Guerra Civil 1. II. & Ill: Nicaragua: No Pasaran (Bradbury. 1984): Minefield Nicaragua (Astin.1984): "Reagan Backs Up Contras" (ABC News. 1988): Viva la Contra’
[Audio] Reagan. Ronald_ -Address to the Nation on Iran-Contra." 4 March 1987 Retrieved from: Miller Center of Public Affairs. University of Virginia.
[Text] The National Security Archive. The Contras. Cocaine, and Covert Operations: National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No 2. George Washington University. 2011.
The War on Terror[Image] Retreved from YouTube: "911 Eyewitness"; "Catastrophic Collapse": 'The Oil Factor"; "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib": Faces of Dead US Soldiers": "Afghan War New Technology." Retrieved from archive.org: -The Winds of Jihad": "Iraq Tragedy"; "War in Afghanistan.”
[Audio] Retrieved from YouTube: "Ancient Assyrians of Northern Iraq: Assyrian Folk Music": "Duo 4500 Year Old Reproduction. Lyre and Pipes “
[Text] -The American Presidency" (Britannica.com), 'Muslim Statistics – Terrorism" (Wikilslam.net): "A Legacy of Pride and Pain" (Washington Post. 2014): "The Uncounted" (cnn.com).
This installation, inspired by Alain Resnais's Hiroshima mon amour and Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinema, attempts to narrate the concept of remembering forgetting. Using a cinematic free indirect style, 1 project the difficulty of narrating history and memory by creating moments of multi-visional seeing: imagery of maps from American war documentaries are juxtaposed with images of death and suffering, establishing multiple "points of seeing" the atrocities of the Second World War. —Kenneth Pinion
After World War II, tensions between the United States and its wartime ally the Soviet Union quickly grew to massive proportions. Never erupting into direct military confrontation, the Cold War between the two superpowers was fought by indirect and defensive means. My film, looking at images of the Cold War from 1946 to 1963 drawn from archival footage used in contemporary documentaries and from print publications of the era, proposes that the erection and maintenance of borders and walls, both literal and metaphorical, served to keep casualties at a relatively low level and stave off anxiety over nuclear annihilation. —Brian Robertson
This project attempts to compass the various means by which technology is utilized to render war as an abstraction; to present images of death and physical destruction which are irreducible, immediate; and to examine the irreconcilability of these polar depictions of armed conflict. The Korean War saw the United States increase its reliance on the evolving technological capacity of aerial warfare, and this shift to the sky is herein made manifest through numerous images of officers (and combat-machinery) 'gazing' upward, as well as the inevitable POV shots from aircrafts as they rain fire toward a remote grid. The representation of these 'advances' is not only indebted to time-honored visual tropes; it seems also to anticipate subsequent conceptions of war as cinematic spectacle. But however war is abstracted—in the map-room, over the radio, through the camera-eye—the price is paid in blood by those on the ground, combatants and civilians alike. Can images of death destabilize abstraction? —Adam Herbert
It could be the first line of a haiku: "Front Toward Enemy." It is, however, the text written on the Claymore mine in the footage of GI's learning to use this "anti-personnel device," just one of the many weapons used widely during the Vietnam War. That small metal rectangle looks innocuous on screen. Thinking about the nature, technology, and language of war: the need to dehumanize, other, and rationalize an enemy at whom you will deploy hundreds of destructive steel balls loaded in that Claymore, ideally inside the "kill-zone." There is a divide between training and what happens in the field; between theory and practice; between news reporting and the individual stories of those who fought, were injured, and died—on both sides. —Marsha Gordon
My segment shows the Contra War. Though the primary combatants were the Sandinista government of Nicaragua fighting against various counter-revolutionary groups, the United States played a large (and largely secret) role in organizing, funding, arming, and training the Contras. The ability of the US to participate in this war did not depend on mass mobilization efforts or rationalizing the war to the American public—instead, it depended in part on the government's participation remaining somewhat hidden. Accordingly, my segment of this project focuses not only on death and technology, but also on the "death" of technology. My selection of clips draws attention to video itself as a technology of war by lingering on moments when this technology breaks down, decays, and prevents us from seeing clearly.—Jason Buel
'The War on Terror' begins with images of the 9/11 acts of terrorism by alQaeda. The attacks on the Twin Towers and George Bush's response escalated fear of radical Islamic factions, as expressed by the second images. The following images show the impact of various technological causes and representations of the casualties of the ensuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. —Gretchen Walters