Imperial War Museum Build The Truce
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Tag "museum"
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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Image of Lloyd George's Versailles Doodle

These doodles were done by Lloyd George at a meeting of the Inter-Allied Council to discuss the terms of the Armistice to be imposed on Germany in November 1918. Difficult and complicated business, reflected in this sketch from blotting paper on the negotiation table. A small figure is trapped in an endless red cage of intersecting lines – does this  suggest the complicated carve-up of postwar Europe, and the helpless individuals within it? The lines are repeated over and over again, like an unresolved conflict that continues to replay itself  – as it would in 1939, in a chain of events  rooted in the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

IWM explores the cycle of conflict and war, and how it shapes our lives. This includes our efforts to address and respond to the causes and consequences of war, and to break conflict cycles. This is why the Museum’s collections contain evidence of peacekeepers, peace makers and peace builders from 1918 to the present day.

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Image of Peace Museum logo

The Peace Museum (Bradford) will be describing their work and collections at the WORKING FOR PEACE EXPO at IWM North on Sunday/Monday 18/19 September.

The Peace Museum, the only museum of its kind in the UK, explores, preserves and enhances the heritage of the peace movement, providing inspiring opportunities for people to engage with concepts of peace, cohesion, non-violence and conflict resolution.

The Peace Museum is excited about participating in the Working for Peace Expo and looks forward to sharing the inspiring heritage of the peace movement from its unique collections.  Peace history is in some ways is a ‘hidden history’ because it is not yet well known; the museum aims to uncover this history and make it come alive by sharing stories of incredible daring, fortitude and vision of people who have strived and who are currently working to make the world a better place.

www.peacemuseum.org.uk

Julie Obermeyer
Curator and Manager: The Peace Museum

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