In 1961 the Soviet Union constructed a wall in Berlin that symbolized the cold war divisions that brought the world the closest it has ever been to annihilation. We asked our students to create their own wall, focusing on the conflicts of the 20th and 21st century and a specific human body system. Each panel of this Wall of Resistance offers student perspectives regarding the effects of the war on society, the human body, or even the individual human cell.
It was rewarding to see the students engaged in their research and the astounding creativity that emerged in their art. The essential questions driving each art piece were generated by the students, allowing for a diverse set of reflections on particular times and body systems. No two pieces were alike; each conveyed a different message and tone. In the end the students created characters related to their art pieces and portrayed these characters on the night of exhibition. The room was vibrant not just from the images and colors on the walls, but from the students acting and engaging the public on their thoughts of war.
Until I actually did the research, I had no idea how much impact war has on people and society. Not only does it affect the soldiers fighting in the war, but their families and friends as well. I studied the circulatory system, which pumps and circulates blood throughout the body. When a soldier, for example, is shot it can create something called cavitation, where the bullet creates a cavity in the skin and can potentially leave room for infection from bacteria. Soldiers and civilians are being shot right now in the war in Iraq, and it is mind-boggling that this is the norm over there, yet the sound of a word such as “cavitation” brings chills to my body. This project re-affirmed my beliefs about war and how unnecessary and ineffective it is.
—Maddie DeVault, 11th grade
To learn more about this project and others visit www.hightechhigh.org and Jenny Morris and John Bosselman’s digital portfolios at http://dp.hightechhigh.org/~jmorris and http://dp.hightechhigh.org/~jbosselman