A War Artist’s Diary brings together 100 of the most remarkable pencil drawings from Peter Badcock’s three runaway and much sought after best sellers on the bitter turbulence of conflict in Southern Africa. Shadows of War (1978) and Faces of War (1980) captured the raw emotion of the Rhodesian (Zimbabwean) Bush War while Images of War (1981) explored the escalating devastation of the South West African (Namibian) Border War.
A War Artist’s Diary chronicles war in Southern Africa’s last colonial summer, which thrust tens of thousands of young men of every colour into wars not of their making. For some, these wars were about survival; for others they were wars of liberation. Either way A War Artist’s Diary offers a haunting take on those savage days in which young men fought old men’s wars, in pursuit – as it turns out – of very little.
One of the last war artists of the twentieth century, Badcock traces his accidental journey into drawing and writing about conflict in Southern Africa with disarming honesty and wry humour.
This is no ordinary book: it is about war but also about art and features some of the most extraordinary pencil drawings of men at war yet published. But most importantly, it is about the men who faced and often fought these Southern African wars, willingly or not, and the civilians who endured. It is their eyes that burn through A War Artist’s Diary and give it soul.