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Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre

King’s College London

The Strand

London

WC2R 2LS 

United Kingdom

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Please join us for a lecture by Simon Norfolk on the politics of remembrance after WW1, based on his forthcoming documentary series Ricochet.

After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 soldiers’ dead bodies were simply ‘shovelled into a hole and so forgotten.’ Even in the early months of the First World War the only names on casualty lists in newspapers were those of Officers. But by the war’s end in 1919 we had shifted to building hundreds of military cemeteries where every single soldier, down to the lowest Private, would be eternally remembered, in stone like a pharaoh. Elaborate ceremonies - this thing we call ‘Remembrance’ with a capital R - were manufactured to memorialise their deaths. The sheer number of dead and the brutal, industrialised meaninglessness of their dying called forth the greatest period of British cultural creativity of which you’ve never heard. This lecture (which is based series of documentary programmes) examines how that change came about and offers a hard-hitting polemic against the standard model of Remembrance that was created after the Great War. What’s wrong with pretty war cemeteries and cenotaphs and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? Quite a lot, this lecture argues.

The lecture is a keynote address for an AHRC funded workshop, ‘Reconciliation Histories’ as part of Art&Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community. For more information, email: henry.redwood@kcl.ac.uk

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Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre

King’s College London

The Strand

London

WC2R 2LS 

United Kingdom

View Map

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