Remembering the fallen: Photographer Silvia Pecota on covering the Canadian army
Toronto-born photographer and artist Silvia Pecota has a wide range of experience under her belt. She’s travelled the world in pursuit of the stunning landscape, the captivating cultures, and profound experiences. She’s photographed iconic public figures and personalities. Her work has appeared in various publications, and her photographs of the Inuit have resulted in several international exhibitions.
But for the past decade, Pecota has channeled her energies into documenting the Canadian Army. In 2003, she was selected to participate in the Canadian Forces Artist Program, allowing her the opportunity to travel to Haiti and Afghanistan as she was embedded with the troops.
While Pecota says she has always been interested in military history, she did not imagine that she would be so involved in Canada’s armed forces.
“Being embedded with the troops, I was able to document their efforts and truly appreciate their dedicated service. I bore witness to the sacrifices soldiers endure when putting themselves in harm’s way,” she says in the Toronto Sun.
Her most recent project, an exhibition and book entitled “Remembering Our Fallen,” is a tribute to the soldiers with whom she has spent a great deal of time. Over the past couple of years, her experiences from the Afghan Mission and the International Security Assistance Force have also resulted in over 50 compositions and art calendars.
Her talent as an artist was also exhibited in 2008, when she sculpted a relief dedicated to fallen soldiers. One copy is displayed at the Royal Canadian Air Force Museum in Trenton, Ontario, while the other is at the Canadian Cenotaph in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Pecota says she feels fortunate to have been given the chance to honor the Canadian soldiers.
“Knowing what soldiers have endured became my inspiration, and I feel fortunate to have been able to use my art as a voice to honor their courage and sacrifices so that we could enjoy a better world, and a safer future,” she says.