Exhibition Featuring Striking Modern Images of WWI Battlefields from Photographer Michael St Maur Sheil Opens at National World War I Museum and Memorial

 Ancient remains of the village, Fey-en-Haye,
in the St. Mihiel battlefield

Press release 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – World War I was the first “modern” war as industry enabled weapons and explosives to be manufactured in vast quantities that brought death and destruction on a scale never previously experienced by mankind. 

American Sergeant Charles S. Stevenson wrote, “Machine guns, rifles, shells, aeroplanes, and tanks — everything you read about — I saw ‘em all. We followed the first line (the attacking party) for twelve hours and ours was a sort of 'after the battle' review. I saw all kinds of German trenches, barbed wire entanglements, busted houses, burning trees, deep shell holes, torn-up railroad tracks, peaceful gardens, dynamited bridges.”
American 30.06 caliber unfired rifle clips in the Meuse Argonne “Pocket” 
where the so-called “Lost Battalion” fought its gallant action.

The experience of American soldiers in the Great War is documented in a free outdoor special centennial exhibition, Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, which debuts Friday, March 31 in the Museum’s Memorial Courtyard. The exhibition features the incredible contemporary photographs of Michael St Maur Sheil, depicting the battlefields of the Western Front where the Doughboys fought. The exhibition, co-curated by the Museum, opens in conjunction with the centennial of American entry into the Great War and is the first large-scale exhibition of Sheil’s work in the U.S. His prior exhibitions have been seen by more than five million people across the world.

In addition, a second edition of the exhibition debuts at Guildhall Yard, the site of London’s historic Roman Amphitheatre, on April 6. The exhibition then shifts to the U.S. Embassy in London at Grosvenor Square (April 28-May 12) before traveling throughout the United Kingdom during the course of the year, including stops in Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.
Relic German stick grenade in the U.S. action areas 
in the Champagne region

“Through this exhibition, we trace the journey of the American forces in 1917 and 1918, and commemorate their efforts,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial Senior Curator Doran Cart. “It is both beautiful and poignant work and serves as another example of our commitment to understanding World War I and its enduring impact.”

When the United States entered the cataclysm of the war to become known as World War I, the global conflict had consumed many nations since 1914 and continued for years. The Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918 halted the fighting on the Western Front.

The Western Front the American forces saw when they arrived and until they returned home included scenes of environmental degradation, obliterated villages, vast cemeteries, and continuing massive destruction. Much of the landscape of the Western Front looked like an uninhabited planet very foreign to them.

“The U.S. involvement in the First World War was a hugely significant factor,” said Sheil, whose work has been featured in National Geographic and Time magazine. “Today, it is often overlooked, but it was a New World coming to the aid of an Old World, from which many of the young American soldiers – as first generation immigrants – had sought to escape. Their humanitarian effort in supplying and shipping over seven million tons of food to save the peoples of Belgium and northern France from starvation marked the advent of America as a united nation.”

Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, is open through Aug. 20, 2017 at the Museum. The exhibition is presented by the Aon Foundation with additional support provided by Edward Jones, PNC Financial Services Group and Park University. The U.K. version is presented by the Aon Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Embassy. 

In conjunction with the March 31 opening, the Museum is hosting a free reception and panel discussion featuring Sheil, Cart and Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor on Friday, March 31. The reception, which begins at 5 p.m., features a free drink and complimentary light hors d’oeuvres with entertainment from jazz musician Bram Wijnands and his trio. The panel discussion follows at 6 p.m. Individuals interested in attending may RSVP at theworldwar.org

National World War I Museum and Memorial
2 Memorial Drive | Kansas City, MO | 64108
Office: 816.888.8122
Cell: 352.278.0522

"L'offensiva di carta". An illustrated journey from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics. An exhibition opening in Udine (Italy)

We're happy to announce the opening of the exhibition "L'offensiva di carta", an illustrated journey dedicated to the First World War years, from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics.

"L'offensiva di carta"
La Grande Guerra illustrata, dalla collezione Luxardo al fumetto contemporaneo
The Great War: an illustrated journey through time, from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics
Castello di Udine, 31 March 2017 - 7 January 2018
E-mail: civici.musei@comune.udine.it
Web: www.civicimuseiudine.it
Curated by Giovanna Durì, Luca Giuliani, Anna Villari
in cooperation with Sara Codutti and Fernando Orlandi

The exhibition opening these days in Udine (Friuli, Italy) displays an amount of artworks coming from the Luxardo Collection. Luxardo is the surname of a doctor of the Friuli area that was able to collect immediately after the end of the First World War more than 5600 magazines and monographs. The Luxardo Collection, now part of the collection of Musei Civici, is a large window from where people can view what was produced in terms of illustration and propaganda images in the different armies and fronts. The exhibition develops and takes into consideration the appearance of the cinema as an essential tool for the control of an already biased imagery. The last section of the exhibition is dedicated to the "new" art of illustration and comics, introducing to the works of artists such as Joe Sacco, Gipi, Manuele Fior, Jacques Tardi and Hugo Pratt. The exhibition will run untill the beginning of January 2018.

“Panoptico”, the sound art installation by Greta Lusoli at Castello di Duino

Opening: March, Saturday 25th at 11.00 a.m., at Castello di Duino's Bunker (via Duino 32, 34011, Duino Aurisina – Italy) - The participation to the opening is by reservation only (via mail at info@iodeposito.org or via the B#Side War App)

Opening hours: from 25th March 2017 to 2nd April 2017; from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays). Free entry.

Infoline: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org

In collaboration with the Gruppo Ermada Flavio Vidonis and the Castle of Duino, IoDeposito Ngo presents on Saturday 25th March at 11.00 a.m. the sound art installation PANOPTICO by Greta Lusoli, at the Castello di Duino's Bunker. The event is organized thanks to the support of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and the patronage of UNESCO and it will be available until the 2nd April 2017: from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays). This new appointment belongs to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).

One hundred years ago, Europe looked like a big open-air prison: almost fifteen million people used to be trapped inside inhuman war jails and even more civilians were trapped between refugee camps and their own houses, living a life of destruction and deprivation. The sound art installation PAN-ὀπτικός by Greta Lusoli relates to that terrible war scenario trying to evoke and reconstruct in the mind of the listener the archetype prison designed by the philosopher and jurist J. Bentham at the end of XVIII century. Born with the intent to make the jails more efficient, less expensive and easier to monitor, the  Bentham's structure provided only one warden who, standing in the centre of the building, was able to guard at the same time all of the prisoners in their cells developed in a circle around the central space. In this way the prison cells became transparent: the privacy of the prisoners and the preservation of their intimacy (so, their inner identity) completely disappeared, stoking a dangerous process of objectualization and dehumanization of the prisoner.

PAN-ὀπτικός works through a stratification of its deepest meanings: there are at least three intrinsic factors related to this immaterial but complex intervention of public art. The first analysis is a sensorial one: to evoke the cruel architecture of Panopticon, Greta Lusoli project into the proxemic space of the listener a vibrant, deep, screeching and unpleasant sound that resonate inside the chest and memory of the listener with universal and archetypical echoes of a primordial energy, reminding to ancestral alert signals.  This sound create an emotional correspondence, as a summa of all the alert signals coming from the animal world, including the most primitive ones whose have been extinguished. The second level of interpretation tunes the experience of this 18th-century architecture with the tragedy of contemporary conflicts. The choice of an architecture as a symbol of an unseen reality (but too much common in our contemporaneity) hit the headlines from a mathematics and conceptual proportion trough that the sound resonate in the space: the minutes within a year are divided with the numbers of prisoners that every year, today, are victims of conflicts. In fact, the sound reverberates every 5 minutes and 53 seconds, underlining the impressive quantity of war prisoners that nowadays still loose their freedom in conflicts. Finally, a third metaphorical matrix concern to the dissociation of polarities see-be seen. The vastness of the conflicts that is gripping the entire world is not read today by our eyes but, thanks to the sound that powerfully touch the deepest strings of our soul, it can be clearly perceived in our minds.

An important role is played by the location. The Castel of Duino, completely destroyed due to its proximity to the front during the First World War, was under bombardments of the allies on Monfalcone during the Second World War. Villagers used to seek refuge inside the big Bunker, venturing into the deep cave and waiting in the dark that the worst was over. The sound art intervention, installed in the last room of the basement, take the listener at the same time in one space and in many others, comparing the “now and here” of the listener physical presence, with the “then and there” of the victims and prisoners of the conflict. A vibrant and harsh sound will vibrate inside the bunker of the castle, reflecting an old fear that can be dissolved only  by the light expectancy coming through a window in front of the sea.

Web: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org
Direction: info@iodeposito.org
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

Mario Puccini, an Italian World War One writer. The opportunity to know his work in Trieste

Press release

Mario Puccini comes back in the city which gave the title to one of the most representative Italian memorialistic war report of the Twentieth Century, his Davanti a Trieste. The critical edition curated by Tancredi Artico and published by Mursia will be presented on Friday the 3rd March at 6.00 p.m., in the Ubik book store in Trieste (Piazza della Borsa, 15). The new edition is the editorial result of a research projects undertaken by IoDeposito Ngo, in collaboration of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and with patronage of UNESCO and Council of Europe. The study project has involved many pofessors, Ph.Ds and university researchers. The book launch of Trieste belongs in fact to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).
The prolific author Mario Puccini (Senigallia, 1887 - Rome, 1957) was one of the literatus of «Voce» (the most important Italian magazine of the early ‘900) circle, who have been able to deeply influence the fortunes of the following history of literature affecting particularly the neorealist poetry. As many times defined by Vasco Pratolini «one of the master the Italian literature must bring justice», Mario Puccini have been also a soldier, crossing, during the First World War, all the Friuli Venezia Giulia territory, from the Carso to the Piave. From this human experience, in which the literary experience merges with the bellic one, is born a war diaries trilogy that includes Dal Carso al Piave (1918), Davanti a Trieste (1919) and Così ho visto il Friuli (1919), which represents one of the most important memorial and literary record about World War I on the international scene. 

Davanti a Trieste is a staunch and empathic portrait of war days, in which is presented the collective feeling of his comrades and is shown how they perceived reality as if they were a single organism. Lieutenant Puccini gets therefore straight to the heart of things, with his desire to pay tribute to the men who sacrificed their own lives with a valorous and touching simplicity. The writing is limpid and incisive, focused on a strong attention to the human dimension of the conflict, trough an effective formal modernity free from aesthetic temptations (which is the distinctive style of the whole Puccini's literary creation).
Thanks to the clear and anti-rhetorical prose, Puccini's pen is able to weave the warp of storytelling with a disarming balance between the immediate crudity of the historical evidence on the one hand and, on the other hand, the human experience transferred to the reader in the form of a poetic literary language, which yearns for salvation and redemption from a senseless and brutal war, able to engulf the reality. The pulsating and genuine compassion of the war-man intertwines with a strong sensitivity about the formal and linguistic experimentation: Puccini's triptych on the Great War is in fact a work able to represent the emotions of a great humanity and at the same time of linguistic and literary innovation, presenting itself as an organic historical evidence of events and of the past of the war. The book curator Tancredi Artico portrays Davanti a Trieste as an «exceptional direct testament of the Great War, which can be at the same level of others Italian literary war works as Guerra del ’15  by Stuparich or Giorni di guerra by Comisso»: Puccini was able to create a memorial work important for its anticlassical statute and for the peculiar chronological concatenation, which makes of writing a mean of salvation. 

(In the above images of Trieste, the quay and Via del Pane)

Event's link: http://www.bsidewar.org/en/upcoming/presentation-of-the-volume-davanti-trieste/
Details: Friday the 3rd March, at 6.00 p.m.; at Ubik book store, Piazza della Borsa, 15, Trieste.
Web: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org
Direction: info@iodeposito.org
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

"No words - no war / A Poli-focal interactive installation" at Carinarnica – bivak urbane kulture, Nova Gorica (Slovenia)

Press release

Opening: February, Friday 17th at 6.00 p.m., at Carinarnica – bivak urbane kulture, Erjavčeva 53, 5000 Nova Gorica, Slovenia (Carinarnica is situated on the border between Italy and Slovenia).
Opening hours: from 17th February 2017 to 3rd March 2017; from Monday to Friday, from 02:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m. Free entry.

IoDeposito Ngo, with patronage of UNESCO, unveils on Friday 17th February at ore 6.00 p.m. the exhibition NO WORDS – NO WAR / A Poli-focal interactive installation by Natalia Tikhonova, at Carinarnica -bivak urbane kulture. In the evocative location in Nova Gorica, a new laboratory and meeting point of urban cultures, it will be accommodated the series of the Russian artist's optical installations, until the 3rd March 2017: from Monday to Friday, from 02:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m. Tikhonova's works of art are focused on the return of the war's human and sensory dimension. Thanks to an innovative employment of historical photos and chromatic filters, the artist could reach meanings and feelings that sometimes have been pushed aside in historical books and essays: wars were made by humans against humans and so, among dates and reports of conquests, there are death, dismay, incredulity above all.

The fil-rouge of the Tikhonova's project is that our mind can condition the perception of war until making it something distant, ephemeral and non-existent. Memory and imagination in fact are able to erase not only certain details, but also to make us forget the human presence and components of war, offering an illusory image, erasing the drama of death and leaving only a memory of a desert natural scenography. This reaction, nearly to distance oneself from the harsh reality, is revealed in the series of optical installations by Nathalia Tikhonova with a game of filters that, among the blacks and greys of ancient photos, makes appear and disappear bloody and evanescent figures of soldiers: the legacy of war are read therefore through the colours, made of bright red (which presage) and dense gray (which bewail).
The descriptive language of chromaticism needs no other explanations because is able itself to tell about who has lost everything, even life, in the Russian front (which becomes a universal symbol). In this way, the artist invites the viewer to get in touch with the war's experience through the observation from different perspectives.

Carinarnica, which was inaugurated last year by Društvo humanistov goriške Carinarnica, amplifies this artistic experience because is a very significant location: the border house on the border which split the city of Gorizia in two after the Second World War. The street where is nowadays situated the urban cultural centre is half Italian (San Gabriele street, Gorizia) and half  Slovenian (Erjavčeva ulica, Nova Gorica) and so, it brings in itself a huge symbolic meaning. The exhibition belongs to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).

Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

The exhibition "Memory as a Living Matter / international Artists for a Reinterpretation of the War Object" in Trieste

Press release

Vernissage: Saturday the 4th of February, at 6.00 p.m., at the Umberto Veruda Gallery, Piazza Piccola 2, Trieste, Italy (access via Piazza Unità walking throughout the main portico)
Exhibition's details: from 4th of February until Sunday 5th March; from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., with the possibility of free guided tours every Friday and Saturday from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. (bookings available at info@iodeposito.org or via B#SIDE WAR App).

In collaboration with the Municipality of Trieste and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, IoDeposito Ngo is glad to present Memory As A Living Matter / International Artists for a a re-interpretation of the war object. The Vernissage will take place Saturday the 4th of February, at 6.00 p.m. at the Umberto Veruda Gallery (Trieste, Italy): for the occasion, a talk with the artists. The exhibition will be available for free until Sunday 5th March in the prestigious location, from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., with the possibility of free guided tours every Friday and Saturday from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. (bookings available at info@iodeposito.org or via B#SIDE WAR App). 
The event belongs to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).

The exhibition Memory As A Living Matter proposes new interpretations of the war object by 10 international contemporary artists, in an original concept of "artist's museography": only a few pieces, made out of poor materials, essential and almost naked in their exposure, but yet so powerful in their expression to unlock the universal meanings, awakening the collective memory and bringing us in contact with the experience of those who have lived the conflict. Between works composed of "strong" materials - iron, cement, everyday items, ready made and objets trouvé - and works composed instead of fragile materials, ineffable and powerfully organic, that bleed to death and fade away under the eyes of the visitor - paper, burned wood, ashes, graphite, egg shells, bread -, the meaning that artists attach to the event of war becomes perceptual, immediate, it brings us back to the sense of humanity, in the world of everyone's images, where the archetypal realities speak a universal language that awakens the legacies and the memories of all of us, echoing those latent legacies of the conflicts that are stratified in our DNA.

Boris Bejas, one of the exhibition's artist, argues «I am very interested in how the social crises interact with the structure of everyday life: through the use of the spectator, art belongs to all three time-lines -past, present and future». Playing a part in the reinterpretation of the war object into contemporary artworks made with war remains, and in artworks that materialise the unexpressed war heritages, the user is immersed in a multi-focal perception of history.

Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

The Great War Channel on YouTube (and Mexico in WW1)


2017 has begun and still two years of "celebration" of the First World War Centenary are left. What after? And what during these two remaing years? One of the goals of this web site is to detect some initiatives and keep an eye open on what's going on around and what's worthy of mention. We try to produce also some new and useful contents. Beside of that, another goal is to remain after the Centenary as a possible starting point for people looking for resources and particular topics about that conflict. Among what is whorty of notice, we could point out the collection of short videos "The Great War", a Berlin based YouTube project still today meaningful in the digital panorama. Of course many debates can rise on the accuracy and on the editorial slant. Anyway, here below are the main contacts and finally a curious video about "Mexico in WW1".


"Is the purpose of geography to make war?" An exhibition of Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche in Treviso

Panorama - Montello hill
"Is the purpose of geography to make war?" This is the question coming from the exhibition at Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, curated by Massimo Rossi and held in Palazzo Bomben, Treviso (Italy). The exhibition will be open from Sunday November 6 2016 to Sunday February 19 2017. Through three closely linked layouts that remain in constant dialogue, maps, atlases and works of art speak of the great communicative and persuasive force of geographic maps. Maps are a powerful means of non-verbal communication and the scenario of the celebrations of the Great War offers a valid opportunity for investigating their ability to condition public opinion when they back the point of view of the Major Nations. This is why the layout of the exhibition focuses on the historical period between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, but which actually spans from ancient times all the way to modern day, to tell the story of another possible geography and not necessarily based on military logics.

1918 - Italian positions along the river Piave
The exhibition begins with "Rocks and water", where we see how maps use a simple and preemptory sign - the natural border - to turn mountains and rivers into tools that are able to separate and offer physical shape to ethnic, linguistic groups, nations to transform them into the “geographical expression” of states. The second section, "Human signs", recounts the use of geographical knowledge for propagandist purposes to forcibly convey the idea of nation even before its official political proclamation. The third part, "War maps", highlights the co-existence of two seemingly irreconcilable cultural approaches, in the context of the First World War: graphic symbols representing the vast war industry disseminated on the Piave front, along with signs that bear witness to the presence of thousands of homing pigeons that by flying at more than one hundred meters of altitude and travelling great distances in short amounts of time, inform and send orders. 305 mm mortars that discharge projectiles weighing 400 kg and as big as a man, and tethered balloons suspended hundreds of metres above the ground «swaying in the sky in a long line along the Piave» as described by writer-tenant Fritz Weber, the enemy on the opposite bank.
A picture of the exhibition
At the exhibition visitors can appreciate how the maps provide order in an otherwise chaotic world, making it more understandable and familiar, distinguishing the objects, but most of all naming the places allowing us to recognise every single one of them. In every era, as quintessential social and human products, maps have also told the story of places through toponyms, sometimes playing an aggressive power over them. Especially when they alter the original spelling of centuries-old names or replace them altogether with new ones to make them more akin to the most recent dominators: the Dutch Niew Amsterdam becomes the English New York; the German Karfreit turns into the Italian Caporetto to then become the Slovenian Kobarid; the Hapsburg Sterzing becomes the Romanised Vipiteno. Or yet, to fulfil impellent social urgencies and to give a voice to hitherto unexpressed territorial hopes: “Alto Adige”, “Venezia Tridentina”, “Venezia Giulia”, or simply, in the case of a river, by changing its gender.
The century-old Piave of the log drivers changed gender in 1918 to offer greater virile resistance to the Austrian invasion, becoming “Il Piave” (male gender), to reassure the collective imagination of the young Italian nation.
But is it actually true that the purpose of geography is to make war? Certainly, without geography wars would not even be conceivable, but man has always been the one to make war, and is willing to use all the available knowledge of physics, chemistry, geometry or mathematics to achieve his objectives.
NASA Blue Marble from Apollo 17 (December 1972)
This exhibition also looks into another possible geography, a geography that urges us to reflect and act on the world when we try to observe it from above when leafing through the pages of the renaissance atlas of Abramo Ortelio, or pondering The Blue Marble, the first photograph of planet Earth taken from the lens of the astronauts of Apollo 17. A geography that multiplies its potential every time an artist decides to partake in a dialogue with a geographic map - and the exhibition displays geographic rugs and a number of works by contemporary artists.
But most of all it offers the opportunity to consider another geography, that is able to teach us to know places through an uninterrupted dialogue with the historical processes and to persuade us through the example of two authoritative pieces of evidence dating back by a century, geographer Cesare Battisti and historian Gaetano Salvemini, that «there are no natural political borders, because all political borders are artificial, meaning that they are created by the conscience and will of man».
Finally a few words about the set-up created by Fabrica: it is an experiential journey, on the discovery of the various geographical maps and the places that inspired them, through the creation of areas that urge visitors to follow them and interact with them. Elements with a linear and clean design, minimalist to focus solely on the works on display, combined with a graphic design that reinterprets the elements of traditional cartography in a modern style.
The entire design of the exhibition - set-up and communication - is combined with the spaces of Palazzo Bomben, rich in frescoes and history, in a dialogue of mutual accentuation.
The event, funded by the Regional Government of Veneto, is part of the programme commemorating the centenary of the Great War.
La geografia serve a fare la guerra?  
("Is the purpose of geography to make war?")
Representation of human beings
an exhibition of Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
curated by Massimo Rossi and with the partnership of Fabrica
inauguration Saturday 5 November at 6:00 pm
open from Sunday 6 November 2016 to Sunday 19 February 2017
Tuesday-Friday 3:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-8:00pm

Treviso, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, via Cornarotta 7
tel. 0422.5121, fbsr@fbsr.it. www.fbsr.it
regular entry: 7 euro, discounted entry: 5 euro, school discount: 3 euro 

Press Office:
Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
Silvia Cacco, tel. 0422.5121, cell. 331.6351105, silvia.cacco@fbsr.it
Studio ESSECI, Sergio Campagnolo
tel. 049.663499, gestione2@studioesseci.net (Simone Raddi)

The poets and the world war: "Si je mourais là-bas" by Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)
A new English translation of the poems by Guillaume Apollinaire was published at the end of 2015 by Oxford University Press. The title of the book is Selected Poems, (with parallel French text) translated with an Introduction and Notes by Martin Sorrell (you see the cover below, in the middle of this post). Among these poems, a relevant group of compositions belongs to the war time and is about the love story with Louise deColigny-Châtillon. It's the second time we choose a poem by Apollinaire. The first one dates back to this old post. Particularly meaningful, also in the study of the war months, is the correspondance between Apollinaire and Lou.


If I died up there at the front
One day Lou my love you'd weep
And my memory would fizzle out
The way a shell-burst dies at the front
A lovely shell like mimosa in flower

And then that memory that bursts in space
Would cover the globe in my blood
The sea the hills the valleys and the flying star
The marvellous suns that ripen in space
Like golden fruit round Baratier*

Forgotten memory alive in all things
I'd redden the nipples of your pretty pink breasts
I'd redden your mouth and your blood-soaked hair
You'd not age a jot all these beautiful things
Would forever grow younger ready for gallant destinies

My fatal blood splashing the world
Would give the sun more brilliance
Flowers greater colour waves more speed
A rare love would fall on the world
The lover would be stronger in your body pushed away

Lou if I die up there memory that gets forgotten
—Remember me in those mad moments
Of youth and love and bursting ardour—
My blood's the ardent fountain of happiness
And because you're the prettiest be the happiest

O my unique love and my grand folly

                                             30th January 1915 Nimes 

[From Guillaume Apollinaire, Selected Poems, with parallel French text, translated with an Introduction and Notes by Martin Sorrell, Oxford University Press] 


Si je mourais là-bas sur le front de l’armée
Tu pleurerais un jour ô Lou ma bien-aimée
Et puis mon souvenir s’éteindrait comme meurt
Un obus éclatant sur le front de l’armée
Un bel obus semblable aux mimosas en fleur

Et puis ce souvenir éclaté dans l’espace
Couvrirait de mon sang le monde tout entier
La mer les monts les vals et l’étoile qui passe
Les soleils merveilleux mûrissant dans l’espace
Comme font les fruits d’or autour de Baratier

Souvenir oublié vivant dans toutes choses
Je rougirais le bout de tes jolis seins roses
Je rougirais ta bouche et tes cheveux sanglants
Tu ne vieillirais point toutes ces belles choses
Rajeuniraient toujours pour leurs destins galants

Le fatal giclement de mon sang sur le monde
Donnerait au soleil plus de vive clarté
Aux fleurs plus de couleur plus de vitesse à l’onde
Un amour inouï descendrait sur le monde
L’amant serait plus fort dans ton corps écarté

Lou si je meurs là-bas souvenir qu’on oublie
– Souviens-t’en quelquefois aux instants de folie
De jeunesse et d’amour et d’éclatante ardeur –
Mon sang c’est la fontaine ardente du bonheur
Et sois la plus heureuse étant la plus jolie

Ô mon unique amour et ma grande folie

                                               30 janv. 1915, Nîmes

"Wacht im Osten: German Encounters with the East in World War I". Special exhibition opens Oct. 25 at National World War I Museum and Memorial

Press release:

 German soldiers excavating a Japanese 28 cm. siege howitzer near Grodno; 
a munitions or spare parts crate sitting to the side.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When the German army advanced into the western territory of the Russian Empire in the spring and summer of 1915, soldiers encountered a physical and cultural environment quite different from what they previously encountered. Those experiences are told through the eyes of German soldiers in Wacht im Osten: German Encounters with the East in World War I, a new special exhibition at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

As historian Vejas Liulevicius describes, the German soldier formed a “mindscape” of the vast, sparsely populated, underdeveloped, alien landscape in which he found himself—something conquered by armed force, but beyond his power to fully understand and control. This landscape challenged him with a psychological learning curve beyond his capacity as a soldier or administrator to comprehend a completely new environment.

Constantly aware of this, the German occupier coped with his disoriented feelings by scrutinizing his environment more thoroughly than he might have in more familiar surroundings. The Germans’ “mindscape” transitioned from being a way of understanding the physical nature of this environment to understanding how to interact with it and eventually subdue it, by constant guarded watchfulness.

 “This special exhibition is unique in that we share the stories and experiences of common soldiers tasked with overseeing the occupation of foreign lands,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial Archivist and Edward Jones Research Center Manager Jonathan Casey. “Through their own personal photographs and diary entries, we’re able to gain an understanding of everyday life for soldiers in those circumstances.”

Wacht im Osten (“Watch in the East”) explores this encounter between the German soldier and the land and people he found himself trying to understand. An example of this is the Belarusian village of Iwje, which is depicted using commercial photo postcards illustrating its diverse mix of religious cultures, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

“Through Wacht im Osten, we’re able to explore an aspect of the Great War not commonly examined broadly: what life was like for soldiers serving as occupiers in lands previously unfamiliar from a cultural and environmental standpoint,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor.

 The exhibition’s narrative unfolds mainly through the stories of two German soldiers: Georg Oertel and Friedrich Volkmann. Oertel served as a medic in a field hospital in Poland and once helped deliver a farmer’s baby during the Christmas holiday. Volkmann was a father with two small children who served in the infantry in Poland and was killed there. They are experiences of two soldiers, far from home in a foreign land, caught up in war. 

Wacht im Osten is open from Oct. 25, 2016 – March 12, 2017 in the Ellis Gallery. 

The National World War I Museum and Memorial holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war.

Media interested in covering any of the Museum’s offerings should contact Mike Vietti at 816-888-8122 or mvietti@theworldwar.org

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

"Representing the unrepresentable: the Great War". An international conference at University of Messina

Thanks to professor Pierandrea Amato for sharing with us the program of the coming international conference "Representing the unrepresentable: the Great War", 24-26 October 2016, University of Messina (for the PDF click here).


A special thanks to iodeposito.org for sharing the below press release with World War I Bridges


(A SPECIAL Opening WEEK for the 3° edition OF THE FESTIVAL)

the artist ANA MROVLJE PROTAGONIST IN the international B#SIDE WAR festival

From October the 14th - to October the 22th, 2016 / Venice (Italy)

The B#SIDE WAR is an artistic and cultural festival of spread art, diffuse in 12 territories of Italy and Slovenia, thanks to artistic exhibitions and installations, performing, talks and conferences, researches and publications. The festival covers the area from the Mediterranean Sea to the Julian Alps, in addition, special events in Toronto (Canada), Kansas City (USA), Canberra (Australia), Verdun (France), Ieper (Belgium) and London (UK) take place every year.
Designed with the main scope of investigating the legacies that connect the First World War to our everyday life, the B#SIDE WAR project has then been devoted to the analysis of the relationship between the Human Being and the ‘900 conflicts, as well as to the examination of the kinship between our war past and the vision of the world we nowadays have. The third edition of the festival will takes place thanks to the artistic and curatorial work of several contributors belonging 39 different country: 68 artists from all round the world, 17 national museum directors, 25 researchers, a team of 25 cultural organizers.

Key themes for the third edition of the festival are: captivity, prisons, multi-vocal and poly-focal vision of history.
For the opening (called "Venice Stage"), the art direction has involved the international artists Ana Mrovlje, Manca Bajec and Dan Allon, which will inaugurate the third edition creating a week of intense and unique performative acts, interconnected by a common necessity of re-reading the war stories the artists have experienced on their skin (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in the Balkans), or the war stories of which they are heirs (the first and the second world war).
The Opening Week wants to involve the audience in exploring issues related to repression and inheritance of the conflict, entering into a contemplative space in which to undertake new interpretations and relive a necessary poly-focal and multi-vocal perception of war facts.

Ana Mrovlje, author of the installation Peacestool (Sit Down and Deal with War Inside of You), artist who studied as psychoanalyst, investigates something that is still part of our collective memory, lying in the subconscious and in everyone's inheritance: the lagacy of war. A chair shaped with 3000 bullet shells from the World Wars coming from different countries, appears as a witness of conflicts that with their echo nowadays are able in influencing other wars (as the Balkan conflict, of which the artist was a witness). The chair evokes also the path of introspective investigation that the artist pursued, sitting in the studio of her analyst every week, questioning herself about war from a chair. Putting the visitor in the centre of the artistic action, he becomes the protagonist of a war that takes place intimately in his/her mind and that becomes collective again in virtue of its “silent presence” in each of us.
The opening week will continue with the performance Witness Corner Marked by Manca Bajec: internationally renowned for her poetics and her research about the movement defined by James E. Young the ‘Counter-Monument’, the artist shows how contemporary art may act as an intruder, clarifying element for the grey areas of history writing. Witness Corner Marked focuses on the transmission and perceptions of multi-voice war stories (immaterial monuments of a collective past), feeding in this waya pluri-focal vision of history which still is a necessity today.
In a vacant space animated by floating voices, querying the memory of the past, sounds and objects become carriers of the experiences people endured in war. The visitor will share universal symbols and emotions, being a witness of individual moments that have never been “monumentalised”.

Than, the Israeli artist Dan Allon, who, in the performance All in Order Mr. General ponders upon the topic of repression, which is one of the principal instruments in the struggle for power. During the 7-day performance, the artist will step into the shoes of a dictator in captivity, imprisoned in a uneasy place, under everyone's eyes (being at the same time victim and executioner), creating a reverberation about some archetypal figures and re-elaborating the intense experience he lived as jailer in Kzioth (Israeli-Palestinian conflict).
Being aware of the relationship between the most powerful and the weakest in societies in war, the artist sheds a light on the complex relation between the military and civil world that are divided, so in wars of yesterday as today, by a very thin line. The performance concerns the complexity and the ambivalence of history, creating relationships and tensions with the visitor, starting from the asymmetric relation that binds the visitor to the prisoner.

Talk with the artists: saturday, october 15th, 6 PM (free entrance, booking is recommended)
Calle lunga San Barnaba (Dorsoduro), 2687, 30123 Venice, Italy
info@iodeposito.org +39 348-7768935
Press: press@iodeposito.org +39 349-0526136

IoDeposito Ngo - Founded in 2009 with the aim of contributing tothe advancement of the cultural welfare and of the young people’s cultural well-being, IoDeposito NGO works nowadays on an international scale together with a network of partners from Italy and the World (Museums, Universities, Academy, Public Institutions). It has involved around 150.000 people in its projects (workshops, laboratories, cultural events, conferences, publications). Mostly, it has developed a unique expertise in the organisation of artistic and cultural events as well as in the research field dealing withthe theme of memories and legacies of the the World Conflicts.