THE HELMET PROJECT
"Memory is the personal journalism of the soul." Richard Schickel
Fifty steel helmets hang from the ceiling just below eye level in the configuration of a circle. They are spaced far enough apart for a person to walk through the circle and examine them intimately. Each helmet is covered with the original handwritten notes of foreign correspondents. The text is partially legible beneath the painted maps and other iconography, but the legibility is not as important as the authenticity of the notes, which in some cases have been saved for decades by the journalists who wrote them.
The overall feeling as one walks through the space is one of reflection. The helmets have been used in battles, and the journalists' notes record the despair of people trapped by war, poverty, and political oppression. Ultimately, the helmets encircle the visitor in the journalists’ quests for truth, honoring their ability to bring us stories from embattled places on the earth.
Participating journalists: Ward Just, Jacki Lyden, Geraldine Brooks, Tony Horwitz, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Jeri Laber, Nelson Bryant, Richard Dicker, Deborah Amos, Kirk Semple, Ivan Watson, Benjamin Joffe-Walt, Gideon Levy, Danny Rubinstein, Asra Nomani, Neal Conan, Tom Gjelten, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, John Feffer, Martha Raddatz, Dana Priest, Nora Boustany, Jamie Tarabay, Sherri Mandell, Jackie Northam, John Burnett, Steven Erlanger, Chris Hedges, Barbara Demick, Will O'Leary, Scott Canon, Kiran Khalid, Ethan Bronner, Jane Perlez, Ray Bonner, Caryle Murphy, Jim MacMillan, Steve Mumford, Hannah Allam, Kimberly Dozier, Sudarsan Raghavan, Ellen Knickmeyer, Anthony Shadid, Charles Sennott, Jonathan Randal, Lynsey Addario, Scott Simon, David Finkel...