Soundtrack to War

ABC Radio National
Street Stories, 2004
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This program was a collaboration with the Australian war artist George Gittoes. about the uses of music by US troops in the Iraq war. The program used interviews, music and sound recorded by Gittoes for his film of the same name during two troops to Iraq in 2002/03. Despite having no official standing, Gittoes collected interviews with young US soldiers at a time when most coverage was provided by embedded reporters, who only gained access to soldiers at the discretion of the US Military'S public relations unit. Operating outside of this officially sanctioned environment, Gittoes recorded candid comments from US troops about the invasion, the attitudes of the troops to their involvement, to civilian and US casualties. The feature focused on the use of music in war, as an officially sanctioned tool "psyching up" troops before battle, and to harass Iraqi citizens, and to the creative use of music as social commentary, release and to memorialize friends who had lost their lives. Significance: This feature revealed stories which at the time were not being explored by other journalists who were largely focusing on the strategic and operational aspects of the war. George Gittoes provided rushes of large sections of the film footage which were edited at the producers discretion and intercut with interviews of the artist to form the narrative. Separate versions of the program were created for triple j and Radio National, exploring varying production techniques for the different networks. This builds on the producers interest in reversioning content for various audiences. The program was also broadcast by WNYC in New York, Chicago based WBEZ's re:sound program and BBC radio.
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