Event—Public Programming

Surviving the Long Wars: Exhibition Close-Up and Poetry Reading

Join us for a poetry reading and close-up of the exhibition "Surviving the Long Wars: Residues and Rebellions."

The shape of a military drone from a bird's-eye view appears against an orange vertical space. The shape of the drone is filled in with images and symbols.

"MQ-9/5" by Mahwish Chishty. Gouache and tea stain on paper. 2013.

This program will be held in-person at the Newberry and livestreamed on Zoom. Please register below.

Join military veterans and poets Erika Renee Land, Monty Little (Diné), Dunya Mikhail, and Carlos Sirah for an evening of poetry exploring the disparate impacts of war and the search for a path toward solidarity.

This event will also provide a closer look at the Newberry exhibition Surviving the Long Wars: Residues and Rebellions. The exhibition coincides with the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit, held this year in Chicago. The exhibition at the Newberry is open February 28 - May 26, 2023.


Erika Renee Land is an Army veteran, MacDowell Fellow, UnitedSolo award recipient, and 2021 Demil Art Fund recipient. She channels her struggles and triumphs with post-traumatic stress disorder into art that she hopes will be transformative for others. Above all, she is a writer of things to be written.

Monty Little (Diné) is a Marine Corps veteran, originally from Tuba City, Arizona, located on the Navajo reservation. He received his BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2015 and is an MFA Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has exhibited nationally and internationally.  

Dunya Mikhail, an Iraqi American poet and writer, is a laureate of the UNESCO Sharja Prize for Arab Culture and has received fellowships from the United States Artists, the Guggenheim, and Kresge. Other honors include the Arab American Book Award and United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. 

Carlos Sirah is an Army veteran of the Iraq War, writer, and performer from the Mississippi Delta. His work encounters exile, rupture, displacement, and migration. He has performed and developed work with a wide array of place-based, social justice, and arts organizations. He received his MFA from Brown University in 2017.

Cost and Registration

This program is free and open to all. Advance registration required.

While the Newberry's policy is that masks are welcome but optional, the organizers of the Veteran Art Summit request that the audience and participants wear masks, unless they are speaking into a microphone.

In-Person Registration


From the US “Indian Wars” to the “Global War on Terror,” SURVIVING THE LONG WARS explores the multiple overlapping histories that shape our understanding of warfare, as well as alternative visions of peace, healing, and justice generated by diverse communities impacted by war. 

Inspired by the powerful artwork of Indigenous and Native American artists responding to the US “Indian Wars,” and artists of the Greater Middle East reacting to the “Global War on Terror,” the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit focuses on how these artistic responses complicate and entangle with the artistic practices of veterans. The featured artworks, projects, and programs create opportunities for people to deepen their understanding of the impact of war. 

The project began in September 2022 with a virtual scholarly seminar series at the nexus of critical ethnic studies, Native/Indigenous studies, and Middle Eastern Studies on the histories and futures of Native rebellion alongside contemporary US militarism and warfare. The project culminates in the spring 2023 second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit at the Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Art Center, and Newberry Library.

Related Exhibitions and Programming:

Veteran Art Summit: March 16 - March 19, 2023

Hyde Park Art Center Exhibition: March 16 - July 9, 2023; Opening Program: March 17, 2023

Chicago Cultural Center Exhibition: March 4 - June 4, 2023; Opening Program: March 18, 2023


SURVIVING THE LONG WARS is organized by Aaron Hughes, Ronak K. Kapadia, Therese Quinn, Joseph Lefthand, Amber Zora, and Meranda Roberts with support from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Institute for the Humanities Innovation Grant, UIC Award for Creative Activity, Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Newberry Library, DEMIL Art Fund, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Dialogues on the Experiences of War Grant. NEH Veteran Fellows include Gina Herrera, Monty Little, Gerald Sheffield, Anthony Torres, Eric Perez, and Natasha Erskine.

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Past Public Programs

Check out video recordings of past Newberry public programs on our YouTube channel.



Surviving the Long Wars: Residues and Rebellions

Feb 28–May 26, 2023

Pairing historic works and contemporary art, this exhibition reflects on the persistence of anti-colonial resistance, from the so-called "Indian Wars" of the 18th and 19th centuries to the "Global War on Terror" of the 21st century.

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