By Kara O'Connor
1st Place, Video Performance, Create | Encounter
When friends and family found out that my husband and I made our rental property available to a family of Afghan refugees, most of them applauded us for our generosity. It felt awesome to be perceived as generous, and sometimes we even slid into believing that ourselves. But an honest accounting of U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan makes our decision feel more like an act of atonement rather than an act of generosity. How can we, as individuals and as a nation, pat ourselves on the back for taking in refugees from an armed conflict that our own tax dollars helped to create? As the U.S. is now sending billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine, the example of Afghanistan serves as a haunting and cautionary tale. The origami crane, as a symbol of peace, points toward a different vision.