'And We Were Young' by Andy Smetanka Combines Beauty with Brutality

By: Andrew Robertson - Published: May 28, 2012 • References: kickstarter and laughingsquid
There is an abundance of WWI documentaries that describe the extreme violence and brutality that characterized the first great war, including the new Andy Smetanka piece. The documentary about the Meuse-Argonne campaign, which remains to be the bloodiest battle in American history, does, however, boast an extra element of artistic value.

Made out of thousands of cut-out paper characters, 'We Were Young' will combine real-life narratives from survivors of the battle with paper animations. The project has been funded through Kickstarter and demonstrates the potential for new forms of art to relay history in a captivating and emotionally compelling way.

As described on the projects Kickstarter page, "Smetanka's feature debut demonstrates what fighting men have always noticed: that war, in all its abject ugliness, can have its senseless beauty, too." The silhouettes of the soldiers against a crimson sky are both distressing and moving.