Warmamas is a project about a special group of mothers. They are the mothers of soldiers who serve - or have served - in our military in a time of war. The majority of these soldiers have been deployed to the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Most have returned home. Some have not. This project attempts to provide the mothers of these soldiers a public platform on which to tell their own stories, each narrative as unique as it is universal.
The harrowing effects of war are seen throughout the societies it touches. But families, especially mothers, often bear the burdens of loss and grief. This Friday and Saturday, the physically integrated company Karen Peterson and Dancers, in collaboration with visual artist Maria Lino and Warmamas oral history project creator Patricia Figueroa Sowers, will premiere Warmamas: A Performanceat the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse.
“In wars, the women always pick up the pieces,” says Lino, who curated and assembled the video installations throughout the 55-minute dance performance. “Basically, we have been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years, and who talks about it, really? Within my own family and friends, we don’t think about the war. We are at war and we’ve been at war and our soldiers are in danger... [Women] keep the community going... not only after the war but during the war.”
This performance of Warmamas grew out of Sowers’ original nonprofit oral history...
The journey to the battlefront is a long one. It starts at home and usually ends at home. It is the neverending universal ritual of a mother letting go to send her child off to war and the same mother welcoming a new, changed, person back.
She understands what it is like to imagine late at night the sound a car pulling up, footsteps shuffling up the steps, and the knock on the door. She is the one who helps the war-weary son put himself back together and once again become part of the community.
She won’t be spared her daughter’s PTSD — or even suicide.
And she might be a mother whose child never returns.
Although my son left for the Middle East during a dangerous period, he was not in the military, he was in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps. He stayed six years and spent part of that time in northern Afghanistan.
During those years, I never knew a day without worry. I reached out to other mothers. I wanted to share my own experience, but I also wanted to hear their stories. I was teaching literatu...
In America, we have so much. Even in the most challenging, difficult times, our ability to get support, advice and resources is extensive. It is an all too familiar path to be oblivious to the struggles that are ongoing, the daily battles that are faced by so many.
Karen Peterson and her physically integrated dance company, Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD), tackles this tough and at times, uncomfortable subject matter.
On Friday and Saturday in The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, Peterson will present The work takes on the issue of “those who have been left behind” by the friends, partners, family members and children who have gone to war.
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The piece is in collaboration with visual artist Maria Lino, who has worked with Peterson many times. Lino has created video projections that seamlessly blend with the dance movement to tell stories of hope, sadness, angst and ultimately,...
The League of Women Voters of the City of New York hosted Warmamas' presentation in NYC on 6/11/15 honoring soldiers and their mothers. In addition to Patricia Figueroa Sowers, Director of Warmamas, other presenters included Retired US Army Brigadier General Loree Sutton, Commissioner from the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs (MOVA); Sylvie Lubow, National Director of StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative; Janine Lutz, founder of the The LCpl Janos V Lutz Live to Tell Foundation; and Melissa del Valle Ortiz, President of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York and our tireless host.
The search for South Florida soldiers and their family members was actively underway by StoryCorps, Warmamas, and the University of Miami Libraries (UML). The three organizations collaborated on StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, a project that honors veterans and the military community by recording and preserving their stories. Approximately eighteen interviews were conducted March 11, 12, and 13 at the Otto G. Richter Library on UM’s Coral Gables campus.
StoryCorps interviews are conducted as a conversation between two people, while a trained StoryCorps facilitator guides the 40-minute recording session. With the participants’ permission, the recordings of these interviews will be archived at the Library of Congress and segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition. “We are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism,” says StoryCorps founder David Isay. The Military Voices Initiative builds on this notion and contributes to...
In March 2015, Warmamas collaborated once again with StoryCorps an the University of Miami with the Military Voices Initiative, a special StoryCorps project that records and preserves the stories of veterans, service members, and their families. This initiative honors their voices, amplifies their experiences and lets them know that we as a nation are listening. StoryCorps believes that people of all backgrounds and beliefs should be given the opportunity to share, record, and preserve their stories.