OK, so I would first like to give you a little bit of background to my reasoning in creating this. Yesterday, I found out that my brother has been accepted to Sandhurst. This is the British Officer Training Academy for the British Army. All of a sudden, what we have all seen for many years on the television was filtering into my my own life. In what might be as little as 18 months, my brother would be putting his life on the line, leading men into a warzone. There is no way that I can hide behind the flimsy shield of a television screen anymore. Although I may not support the reasons why I country may choose to go to war, I am firmly behind the people who, when the decision has been made, gather their belongings, say goodbye to their families and take a step into unknown peril. They walk, heads high, into the Inferno.
I studied Dante's "Divine Comedy" at university, and the horror that Dante describes as he descends into Hell leaks off the page into your mind. His words ring home even now, when we recall the images of war that have been broadcast over the past century.
"The woeful people who have lost the good of the intellect"
I really don't want this line to be misinterpreted. What Virgil is describing are the souls who could not put their faith in something in life: they are doomed to spend eternity chasing a white flag, unsure of where to go. I do not want people to think that I consider the soldiers "The woeful people", devoid of intellect. They are not. What I mean to say is: when the power of the word is no longer enough, primal instinct kicks in: and there are those chosen few who are designated to defend us. I do not deny that this video is depressing. Perhaps it is too pessimistic: I have always wanted to work with Dante's writings, and the horror of war is something that although we may have not witnessed it directly, we have all been indirectly influenced by it. It has, unfortunately, become somewhat of an everyday occurence.
"Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here"
These are perhaps some of the most famous lines written by Dante. The world is not a perfect place. And there are times, yes, when even the best of us lose hope. But as Virgil says; we must put aside our distrust and arm ourselves with courage: for it is up to us to be the change. This idea was partly inspired by Wirrow's "And a new earth". Wirrow's video challenges us to look beyond the 4 walls of what society deems to be "the norm", and look out, branch out. But to be the GOOD in the world, when there is so much distress, hardship and pain...that is the real challenge.