6 photos 81 x 100 cm (lambda print on aluminium)
Trauma is a series of six works depicting different psychological and psycho-physiological disorders that strike soldiers on battlefield and after returning from mission. Monko describes the shell shock – a sickness that World War I veterans were often diagnosed, its symptoms being loss of voice, paralysis, headaches and sleeping disorders. The soldiers who lost their minds in the trenches were considered to be cowards and deserters. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the repeated reliving of war events along with anxiety, helplessness and anger. Sleeplessness, agitation and impulsiveness are added to the list. A large number of different physical symptoms – rash, muscle ache and headache, stomach cramps – form part of the Gulf War syndrome, all of which can spread on to other members of the family.
Monko asks questions which cannot be openly answered neither by the military nor by medical experts: what are the consequences that we are risking when sending soldiers on a mission? How to protect the psyche of the soldiers and their families? How to facilitate soldiers’ return to civilian life? How to defend the country from a foreign assault as well as from the soldiers returning from mission?
Text by Anneli Porri