My collage for LMAC 142 was inspired by current events.
There has been a bit of sabre rattling lately, but this time the sabres have nuclear tips. How often in the past has sabre rattling led to open conflict? Too often. And, too often, people underestimate the possibility that this will lead to open warfare.
Radiation is part of our natural environment, but as a manufactured entity, as a tool of humans, it's relatively new. The metaphor of Pandora's Box has been used in many contexts, but perhaps harnessing the power of the atom is the most apt. Finally, with this technology, humans gained control of a power that could wipe them and most other living things off the face of the earth.
Main Gate of the "Los Alamos Project", Where the Atomic Bomb Was Developed
Credit: U.S. Army. Public domain. The mission to develop an atomic bomb was called the Manhattan Project.
At the dawn of nuclear weaponry the apocalyptic power of this development was suspected by one of its developers, Edward Teller. Before the first test of the atom bomb at Los Alamos New Mexico, Teller wondered if the bomb would ignite earth's atmosphere and if the ensuing fire would engulf the planet and obliterate all life.
Atomic Bombs Dropped by the U. S. on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII
Credit: ShanekPPs. Used under CC 4.0 license. The bombs were given nicknames by the people who deployed them: Fat Man and Little Boy. The bomb known as Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima first, August 6, 1945. Three days later Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki. It is impossible to know the exact casualty count, because of the long-term consequences of the bomb, but here is one estimate of immediate casualties: Hiroshima: 135,000, Nagasaki: 64,000.
A few of Teller's colleagues took his fear of incinerating the earth seriously, but the group continued to develop the bomb anyway. After successfully building an atomic bomb, Teller went on to create even more powerful bombs. The most powerful ever tested by the U. S. was detonated on March 1, 1954. The Bikini Atoll was chosen as a test site. According to the National Cancer Benefits Center:
Radioactive fallout traveled some 125 miles east of Bikini Atoll, reaching Rongelap, another atoll in the Marshall Islands. People living on Rongelap quickly displayed signs of radiation exposure, and Bravo is known for creating one of the most significant instances of radioactive contamination in U.S. history.
Castle Bravo Test of Thermonuclear Weapon, March 1, 1954
U. S. Army. Public
Today, as we contemplate the threat that someone might use nuclear weapons, we cannot comfort ourselves with the thought that this is unthinkable. We cannot naively believe that the prospect of mutually assured destruction is a deterrent. We need, instead, to put ourselves in the perspective of Teller and his colleagues. For some people, nothing is unthinkable.
My collage this week (I do not compete in the contest) is stark. That's how I feel about annihilation of the planet. Still, I thought the starkness might be too severe. So I tried adding a bit here and there.
In this picture, for example, I added gulls. Thank you @redheadpei: Seagull from the LIL Gallery.
Here is a picture with a lizard added. Thank you @muelli: Iguana, from the Lil Gallery
I tried adding the lizard, and birds.
But for me, the starkness of the image in my lead picture says it all. That is the anguished cry I 'hear' as humanity and life on earth is extinguished.
I started with shaka's spectacular template photo
I desaturated it a bit and added a mountain from Pixabay
Mountain The Double A
I adapted a desert photo to be the sandy beach on which the mountain rested.
I incorporated three gargoyles into the mountain's rock face:
Then I found an image of a detonated atomic bomb (Bomb Oscar ovalos). This became the backdrop.
Once I knew what I wanted to do, it was just a matter of expressing what I wanted the collage to say.
Anyone who reads this blog may see that making a collage can be more than arranging different elements in a picture. For me, it is a way of expressing myself, a way of communicating ideas. I am not an artist (obviously) and yet LMAC allows me to use art as a vehicle. Stop by on Thursdays when @shaka publishes a new photo and the contest begins again. Join in the fun. It is addictive.
LIL, from which I borrowed @muelli's lizard and @redheadpei's gull, is an outgrowth of LMAC. Members of the Hive community contribute pictures to the Gallery, where they will be in the public domain and may be borrowed by anyone. Check out the rules here.
I wish all my readers (and everyone) a peaceful, productive day.