War Toys




Chronicling the process behind WAR-TOYS from the perspective of toy photographer Brian McCarty.

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Spafford in Action

I spent the day observing and filming the work of the Spafford Center with local women. In addition to serving the direct needs of children, the center works to strengthen family dynamics through classes on communicating and dealing with conflict. It was pretty amazing to see in action. 


Led by experienced therapist and social worker Heyam, the group today dealt with establishing boundaries with parents and grandparents who may be living in the same household, especially with disciplining children. 


Heyam was also kind enough to open her archive of art therapy examples, giving me the first taste of what I'm hoping to build the project on. 


I've found myself feeling foolishly frustrated today at the perceived pace that the project is moving. I'm chomping at the bit to begin working directly with the kids, interviewing via art and play therapy and then shooting the stills, but it's taking time to organize things and build the necessary relationships. It's simply going to take time, and I've got to let the project unfold in due course.

With the three weeks I have left, I'm sure a lot will be accomplished. New opportunities pop up everyday, one just an hour ago. I was invited to travel to refugee camps in the West Bank with a group that has a "play bus." They drive into the camps and allow kids to play for a few hours everyday. Sounds very unique and worthwhile. I may travel with them as soon as Saturday.

West Bank 2011Brian McCarty