News Details

War Ink

With nearly 2 million veterans in California and a generation of veterans returning from two wars, Contra Costa County Library has launched a timely and relevant project, War Ink, an online exhibit of Iraq and Afghanistan veteran memorial tattoo art. War Ink will launch on Veterans Day 2014, and represents a platform to explore the unfiltered record of war that veterans have documented on their body.  War Ink will consist of a multimedia exhibit of 30 veterans from throughout the state. Each veteran’s story surrounding their tattoos will be recorded by nationally renowned StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, and their tattoos photographed by Shaun Roberts whose work has been featured in GQ, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose Magazine and The exhibit will be curated by Jason Deitch, the project’s scholar, as well as a former combat medic and sociologist, who co-created War Ink with Chris Brown, Contra Costa County Library’s Project Director. “This project represents both a unique collaboration for cutting edge and relevant cultural programming as well as a powerful context for the authentic and honest voice of veteran culture…reaching into and genuinely interacting with the communities veterans are struggling to rejoin,” says Jason Deitch.

Veterans interested in the project are encouraged to download, save and email the PDF found below, along with a photo of their tattoo(s), to Jason Deitch at or 510-593-8423. Recruitment period now through the end of June.

War Ink will be made possible through an ever growing collaborative that includes StoryCorps, grant-makers Cal Humanities, Pacific Library Partnership, and a cooperative group of innovative library systems who are exploring the creative potential for the library field:  Alameda Free Library, Contra Costa County Library, Mountain View Library, Oakland Public Library, OC Public Libraries, Sacramento Public Library, San Diego County Library, San Jose Public Library, San Mateo County Library, Santa Clara County Library District, and Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

War Ink Submission Form - PDF