Visualising War in Different Media: interplay and intervention

Monday 8th April, 2019: 1.30pm, Byre studio = Conflict Textiles tour; 2.30-5pm, Hebdomadar’s Room = Workshop; 5.30-6.30, St Salvator’s Chapel = Concert.

This immersive workshop (organised by Dr Alice König) will offer researchers an opportunity to reflect, in an interdisciplinary context, on two important issues at the heart of the Visualising War project: the power of different media to generate varying responses to war for different viewers/audiences in different periods and places; and the ways in which interaction between different media can influence our reception of individual narratives and our broader habits of visualising war.

Following on from the project’s recent Ethics of Engagement workshop, there will be a particular focus on war stories as ‘interventions’, with input from researchers, artists and performers. Specifically, we will consider the ways in which recent and historic representations of war (in various media) have intervened in public and private discourse, shifting attitudes, memories and experiences. We will also discuss the opportunities and responsibilities that today’s researchers/story-tellers have to generate further interventions, by unpicking or amplifying narratives that might productively shape future discourses of war/conflict.

The event will begin with a guided tour of an exhibition of Conflict Textiles at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews, led by Dr Lydia Cole. Participants will explore the properties of this particular medium of expression, hear about its ongoing impact on various audiences, and share their own reactions to the materials.

A workshop will follow, featuring four papers by speakers who span multiple disciplines (Classics, English Literature, Music, History, Modern Languages and International Relations), talking about: ancient drama and modern film (Dr Jon Hesk); music, poetry and architecture of the First and Second World Wars (Dr Kate Kennedy); the experience of time and music in POW camps (Prof. Julian Wright); and maps and memories of conflict in Ukraine (Darya Tsymbalyuk, artist and co-author of the Donbas Odyssey project). The focus of discussion at the workshop will be the power of different media, individually and interactively, to shape our experiences of and responses to war, past and future.

The event will conclude with another immersive element: a concert – The Fateful Voyage – directed by Dr Kate Kennedy and featuring poetry by Rupert Brooke and music by two of his contemporaries, who travelled to Gallipoli together in WW1. As with the Conflict Textiles tour, the aim is to extend discussion beyond theory and into practice, with the history of St Salvator’s Chapel and its Gallipoli memorials very much part of the experience. Listeners will be invited to reflect on the mingling of music, poetry and architecture in the concert’s war stories, as a stimulating conclusion to the wider reflections of the afternoon. (For more information about the concert, please follow this link.)

The concert is free to attend, and open to members of the public as well as the academic community. Numbers will be restricted for the Conflict Textiles tour and workshop, for reasons of space, with academic staff and PGs from any discipline welcome to attend.

Please register for the Conflict Textiles tour and workshop here. For a full programme, please follow this link.

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This event is has been generously funded by the School of Classics and the University of St Andrews KE and Impact Fund.