Photographer Brian McCarty is no stranger to capturing toys in a dramatic light, but his WAR-TOYS project is not about creating fanciful scenes, but about interpreting children's images of war through the language of play.
McCarty, with the help of humanitarian organizations, has observed art therapy sessions in various parts of the world where children's lives have been touched by war. Utilizing the images children have created and their accounts of their experiences, McCarty recreates scenes of war using toys and forced perspective. On his site, he explains:
Toy-surrogates are placed and posed in accordance to the children’s descriptions, integrated through forced perspective into the actual locations where described events occurred. Commentary is given on socioeconomic conditions through the use of locally acquired toys, seen against the conditions in which these children live. When possible and under the guidance of specialists, I invite the children to actively participate and use the photographic process as a form of therapeutic play. The resulting photographs provide an interpretive document of witnessed events and context for the children’s accounts.
You can read about his experiences and see more of the photographs on his website, and he has books collecting the photographs available in his store.