Imperial War Museum Build The Truce
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IWM North

IWM North IWM North suffers from an identity crisis.  As a museum with the words Imperial and War in the title, some people think that we must be about military campaigns, dates and victories.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Yes we do display tanks and guns and bombs and all the paraphernalia of warfare and conflict, but our message is far more challenging and complex.

At Imperial War Museums we believe it is important to communicate the causes, course and consequences of modern conflict in a courageous and authoritative way that is relevant to our audiences and empathetic with people’s experiences.  Our reason being – whether we recognise it or not – war has shaped all our lives and continues to do so – some more personally and tragically than others.

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Help us mark the International Day of Peace 2012 – join us at IWM London or IWM North for a programme of film screenings, talks and performances linked to conflict, truce and conflict resolution.

We’ll welcome organisations who work during or after war and conflict, including MSF, International Alert, the British Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Conciliation Resources over 21, 22 and 22 September. Find out more about what they do, where, and why in this free event programme. Pick up your Peace Day schedule on the day, but keep an eye out for these highlights of the IWML HIGHLIGHTS and IWMNorth HIGHLIGHTS.

We’ll post more info about the organisations taking part over the next week too. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Build The Truce displays at IWM North and IWM London are based on interviews with real people. They have lived and worked in the aftermath of violent conflict from Kosovo and Northern Ireland to Iraq, El Salvador,  and Sierra Leone. Civilians, ex-paramilitaries, peace builders, medics and researchers share their stories and their views on  truce, and  its potential to unite – or divide.

In these original interview clips, they introduce themselves and their experiences of life as war comes to an end – and new struggles for peace begin.

You can watch more material from these interviews at the Build The Truce displays in IWM London and in IWM North, and we will keep adding  more links to Truce interviewees between now and the end of the month.

 

 

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Visitors to IWM North have been watching the new Big Picture Show for Build the Truce – a 360 degree projection of images and footage across the 27 foot high walls of the Main Exhibition Space.

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Image of Build a Truce exhibition at IWM London

Richard and IWM London staff with characters from the family storytelling sessions

I have had the most amazing weekends at the Imperial War Museum North and IWM London this month, working with families delivering our new story as part of ‘Build the Truce’. My brief as a writer and storyteller was to create a piece which could explain about conflict and truce for a family audience. Given the freedom to choose how I approached the challenge by Catherine Roberts who commissioned the piece I chose slugs and snails. A simple story of how conflict can escalate and become war, told from the perspective of the two main characters: Sadie and Silas, a slug and a snail who point out to the adults how ridiculous it is that they are in conflict when they are so similar – separated mainly by only a shell. They encourage their elders to declare a truce. Told by myself and the IWM learning teams in both Manchester and London, this has been a fabulously creative and rewarding experience. Feedback from parents and grandparents has been excellent, it was really gratifying to see them all having fun as well as understanding the concept of truce.

Richard O’Neill, writer and storyteller

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Belfast mural reflects the peace process: Nothing about us, without us, is for us

Build the Truce public programmes 2012 begin on July 24 as we open a new audiovisual display at IWM London

A short creative film inspired by people living and working in the aftermath of conflict takes it soundtrack from interviews with civilians, ex-combatants  and aid workers. They have witnessed conflict and truce in Iraq, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, El Salvador and Kosovo.

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