How this project came to be…
In 2016 the Department of War Studies launched its first public exhibition Traces of War curated by Cécile Bourne-Farrell and Professor Vivienne Jabri bringing together three internationally renowned artists: Jananne Al-Ani, Baptist Coelho, and Shaun Gladwell. Their work explores the intersection of war with the everyday. This exhibition paves the way to a public programme combining scholarly expertise with artists to produce academically rigorous, unique and impactful projects. As part of this exhibition the Department of War Studies has produced a range of innovative public events, of which the dance project is part.
This project was birthed from a conversation between Traces of War curators, Professor Vivienne Jabri, Cecile Bourne Farrell and Producer, Amanda Faber after the launch of War Studies Artist in Residence Baptist Coelho in April 2016. The curators were inspired by the previous work of Amanda’s 2 Worlds of Charlie F project, which involved veterans of war sharing their experiences through creative workshops in schools. Hearing the soldiers stories impacted pupils so profoundly that one school decided to create a dance performance in response. Amanda commissioned choreographers from Candoco and their youth company to create ‘ Muster’, a dance piece performed by pupil from Calidcott School and the veterans at The Place. Vivienne and Cecile were impressed and moved to see how dance had been used by used to convey the impact of war and how this medium aligned with the vision of Traces of War to communicate the complexities of conflict without using words. And so began the journey of bringing together artists and producers to realise this vision. We are extremely grateful to Jananne Al-Ani, Baptist Coelho, and Shaun Gladwell for allowing such a rich collaboration to emerge.
This is the first time since it was founded 60 years ago that the Department of War Studies has used dance as a medium to communicate the complexities of war.
This dance initiative forms part of the Department's wider artistic endeavours via the Arts & Conflict Hub which aim to:
- Encourage young people to enagage with the complex themes of war at an early age (12+)
- Provide a rich and innovative learning environment for our students and potential students
- Engage with new audiences through creative and scholarly events
- Enhance our research, thinking and teaching by collaborating with professional artists
- Challenge our understanding of how war should be approached and communicated