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Launched today, WW1 project culminating in a national festival in Bristol

Professor Lois Bibbings, project lead

© Andy De Comyn / © Bo Lanyon

Press release issued: 27 April 2018

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and led by the Law School’s Professor Lois Bibbings, “COMMEMORATION, CONFLICT and CONSCIENCE” is a year-long project that will look at ‘hidden’ or lesser known stories of the First World War with a focus on legacy, peace-building and alienation from commemoration.

The project aims to unite existing community groups and researchers, looking at work to date, whilst presenting opportunities to generate new research, showcase existing artistic work and performances and foster new creative projects.

Its focus is on the First World War, then and now, looking at: conscientious objectors to military service; strikes; mutinies; desertion; absenteeism; the men executed by the British military and the Shot at Dawn campaign, which fought for them to be pardoned; the global reach of the war; colonial and commonwealth experiences; and women’s peace activism.

The festival will take place in Bristol on the 27-28 April 2019 and bring together community groups, local historians, academics, campaigners and activists, artists and performers in a free, open access weekend event timed to coincide with the centenary of the release of many absolutist conscientious objectors from prison in April 1919.

The MShed (part of Bristol Museums) will be the festival hub where talks, film showings, exhibitions and performances will take place. Whilst linked events will be happening throughout the city leading up to, and following, the weekend.

For community groups, the project includes some seed corn funding to help undertake research and bring both existing and new work to the festival. The seed corn funding application process will be announced shortly.

The project also supports bids to other funders, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council, where the project leads into and would form a part of the festival.

Further information

The project is funded by the AHRC through the Everyday Lives in War Centre at the University of Hertfordshire. It is led by Lois Bibbings, Professor of Law, Gender and History (University of Bristol), working with Dr Corinne Painter (University of Leeds) and the Remembering the Real World War 1 group in Bristol, and supported by an Advisory Board.

For more information on the project visit the Everyday Lives in War website.


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Further reading

Blogs by Professor Lois Bibbings

Commemorating Conchies: A time to remember the men who rejected military conscription in WW1

Who Do You Think You Are, Fearne Cotton and her conscientious objector great-grandfather

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