Called Culture Under Attack, the series consists of a free season of exhibitions exploring how war threatens both the lives of people and the very things that help define us. The exhibitions tell stories spanning 100 years, revealing why some people try to eradicate or exploit culture, while others risk everything to protect, celebrate or rebuild it. In addition, a programme of one-off events is running, including live music performances and special talks.
Here’s what to expect from the three exhibitions...
Curated in partnership with Historic England, What Remains (5 July 2019 – 5 January 2020) explores why cultural heritage is attacked during war. From the Nazi theft of art to the destruction of Mosul Museum objects by ISIS, What Remains takes the viewer on a journey through photographs, oral histories, objects and artworks to highlight historic and contemporary moments where places, art and artifacts were attacked in an attempt to exploit or erase civilisations from history.
Art in Exile
What do museums and galleries do during a war to prevent their artworks and precious artefacts from being stolen or destroyed? They evacuate them. Art in Exile (5 July 2019 – 5 January 2020) offers visitors the chance to learn about how Britain’s cultural treasures were evacuated and protected during the Second World War. Find out which artworks were saved, why others weren’t, and the balance these institutions had to strike between hiding, preserving and displaying collections.
In addition to pieces from the National Gallery, the V&A and the British Museum, the exhibition sees 60 of the artworks on IWM’s 1938 priority list reproduced on one wall, and divulges never-before-seen documents that reveal the museum’s plans for evacuating its art collection during the war.
Just as buildings and artworks are threatened during conflict, so too is music. Rebel Sounds (5 July 2019 – 5 January 2020) is an immersive exhibition that explores how music is used to resist, rebel and speak out against war and oppression.
The exhibition focuses on four stories of resistance, spanning Nazi Germany in the 30s, Northern Ireland in the 70s, Serbia in the 90s and present-day Mali. Using personal accounts, photographs, memorabilia and music to tell these tales, the exhibition dissects the significance of music in relation to identity, revealing how it has been used both as a weapon and a means to defy the chaos of conflict.
If the Culture Under Attack series leaves you hungry to learn more, check out the line-up for Rebel Sounds Live, a free series of live discussions with musicians and activists who have risked their lives for culture in times of war, exile and censorship. Events are taking place throughout the season, spanning the genres of Syrian Death Metal and Serbian Techno to African Desert Blues. All talks aim to reveal the extremely serious consequences of performing when doing so puts you at risk of serious punishment, arrest or death.
You can also find out about the Cold War Russian bootleggers who defied government bans on Western music by etching forbidden music onto discarded X-rays, in a talk with Stephen Coates of the X-Ray Audio Project on 21 September.
Culture Whisper members have exclusive after hours access to this exhibition at 6:30pm on 24th September. This will include talks with historians and a guided tour led by an exhibitor. There is limited availability, so please make sure you redeem your free pair of tickets now.
|What||Culture Under Attack, Imperial War Museum|
|Where||Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Rd, London, SE1 6HZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Lambeth North (underground)|
05 Jul 19 – 05 Jan 20, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|