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Men appear as soldiers in the 14-18 Now Programme.

100 Years On – Arts Experiences of the First World War: An Interview with Jenny Waldman, Director, 14-18 Now

Emma De Angelis
RUSI Journal, 21 December 2016
The Great War, Art, Culture and Literature, UK, History, Europe
Emma De Angelis and Jenny Waldman discuss the role of art in commemorating the First World War.

On 1 July 2016, commuters and shoppers around the UK were pulled out of their daily routines when silent soldiers in First World War uniforms suddenly appeared among them, waiting on benches, walking single file in supermarket aisles and sitting opposite them in train carriages. The soldiers made eye contact with members of the public, and handed over cards with the name, rank, regiment and age of the soldier they represented who had lost his life on 1 July 2016, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Devised by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’ was part of the extensive First World War arts programme 14-18 NOW. The programme embraces a variety of art forms as well as multidisciplinary collaborations and, as its director Jenny Waldman explains, is designed to mark the four years of the First World War centenary through a series of art commissions that ‘connect people to the First World War’ and reflect on its legacy and impact today.

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Author

Emma De Angelis
Editor, RUSI Journal

Emma De Angelis completed a doctorate on the European Parliament's identity discourse and EU enlargement at the London School of... read more

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