Academics curate Western Front immersive photo exhibition

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Academics from Kent’s School of History and School of Arts have led the curation of a new photo exhibition on the Western Front military cemeteries and battlefields of World War One. The exhibition is a collaboration with regional partners and runs at the Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable, 21 July – 8 August 2021.

Here Dead We Lie‘ is an immersive exhibition which combines photography with an evocative, poetic soundscape, curated for Gateways to the First World War by Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British History and Dr Helen Brooks, Reader in Theatre and Cultural History. The title of the exhibition is taken from the Alfred Edward Housman poem of the same name.

The photographs, taken by battlefield guide and photographer Mark Allen, explore the seasonally changing landscape of the Western Front. The accompanying soundscape of poetry encourages visitors to consider the many influences that shaped understanding of the battlefields and their significance to the contemporary world.

The soundscape was designed by Ross Barnwell, Creative Director of the Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology and the poetry was recorded by Jayne Thompson and senior members of Dover Youth Theatre under the direction of Marie Kelly.

Following this launch at the Horsebridge, ‘Here Dead We Lie‘ will be hosted by Belgium’s Passchendaele Memorial Museum in 2021-22.

Dr Brooks said: ‘The battlefields of the Western Front continue to haunt the imagination over a century after the First World War’s end. These photos provide a window to the time and the scenes, helping us to understand the change of the landscape over time from chaos to calmness, whilst the presence of the soundscape reminds us of the humanity throughout.’

The full exhibition catalogue can be downloaded here.