Tin Soldiers is a publication project that explores persistent realities of formal and informal fighters. It attempts to look at the fragility of individuals, and the continuing allure of notions of nationalism and agency. It shares stories of individuals who have the mind-set, upbringing, context, or readiness to become a fighter, and stories of other’s escape to and from soldiery. The fragility of the lives tackled in this research is haunting. The book focuses on the transformations with(in) incomplete, pale, hesitant, or aspiring fighters living the strain of political shifts. Following their military practices in real or virtual alternative spaces, the research focused on four specific types of fighters and their levels of presence and reality, whether fulfilled or unfulfilled: The Reflexive, the Fantastical, the Simulated, and the Broken. The book is not a comprehensive guide, yet, one would never know if this would be possible in any case. It does not cover all, or even many, geographic locations. It navigates maps copied from other maps, tracing issues of heart and mind, of geography and politics, of confusion, paranoia, aspiration, and abandonment. It seeks to verify given promises, from a man to himself, from past to present, and from present to past.
Contributors include Masao Adachi and Koji Wakamatsu, Doa Aly, Francis Alys, Motaz Attalla, Fouad Elkoury, Cevdet Erek, Ahmed Hefnawy, Maha Maamoun, Abdul Hay Mosallam, Kamal Mufti, Nicolas Paris, Rita Ponce de Leon, Imran Qureshi, Rayyane Tabet, Oraib Toukan, Luici Basta, Mario Cuesta Hernando, Faisal Darraj, Rasha Salti, Mohamed Sadek, Adania Shibli.
Printed in Jordan in September 2012.
Tin Soldiers publication project was printed with support from and shown at the 9th Gwangju Biennial, 2012. Selected works from the publication project was shown at The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, 2012. An installation of 12,265 customized toy soldiers was produced in the context of Home Works 5', Beirut 2010, and 12th Istanbul Biennial, 2011.
> Tin Soldiers installation at the 12th Istanbul Biennial, images by designboom
> Tin Soldiers installation at The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, article and images in the New York Times.