Monday, 9 June 2014

Remembering the Real World War I

IT is 100 years since the assassination of Franz Ferdinand:
– remembering the victims and opponents of World War 1

Saturday 28 June,
Parliament Square

The official commemorations for the start of WW1 will focus on the
sacrifice and suffering of the war. But the statues displayed around
Whitehall – of Lloyd George, Churchill and Haig – show that the British
establishment still has few regrets about that suffering. These WW1
leaders were responsible for sending a million men to their deaths in a
war that killed 16 million, a war that led, inexorably, to fascism and the
horrors of WW2.

But Whitehall has an alternative history, a history of protests by
suffragettes, soldiers and workers. Join us to explore that history.

(Dressing up is optional. But it would be great if people came as anti-war
suffragettes or ‘unknown soldiers’ – and the more Archduke Ferdinands and
Duchess Sophies, the better!)


* ‘Remembering the Real WWI’ presents: Abel Gance’s anti-war film, J’ACCUSE

Friday 27 June,
Cock Tavern, Phoenix Rd. NW1 1HB, Euston
Free admission

By 1918, after almost four years of war, European society was in a state
of shock.
French soldiers had mutinied and the Russian revolution had shown an
alternative to capitalism and war. But there still seemed no end to the
slaughter. In this atmosphere, Abel Gance resolved to make a film exposing
‘the horror of war’. The result was J’Accuse, a complex love story that
culminates in stunning scenes of the war dead rising from their graves ‘to
see if their sacrifice was worth anything at all.’

A veteran himself, Gance used French soldiers to play these ‘zombies’ –
many of whom, in real life, went on to fight and die in the last battles
of WW1. Gance was inspired by the idea that ‘if all the dead came back,
the war would stop at once.’ A romantic delusion? Yes, certainly, but more
radical and thought-provoking than the barrage of TV programmes presently
commemorating the centenary of the conflict.

* The Imperial War Museum will be opening its new WW1 exhibition on
Saturday 19 July.

The museum was set up in 1917 by the very same generals and politicians
who started the war. Join us on that day to commemorate the fact that it
wasn’t victorious generals and politicians that ended the conflict, it was
mutinying soldiers and striking workers – and they did so in revolutions
that, almost, toppled the entire capitalist system. More details to

For more on the Imperial War Museum see:
For more details see:

Contact Remembering the Real WW1 (London):
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