Most people in Britain think our society remains divided - but they also agree that the arts can help to bridge divides in British society, if it makes more effort to get out of London and big cities into towns across the UK. 'Crossing Divides: How arts and heritage can bring us together' looks at how the First World War centenary arts programme helped bridge divides and reach new audiences.
Tag Archive for first world war
The First World War tracker has examined public attitudes and knowledge of the First World War centenary since 2012, exploring key themes from awareness of key facts and dates about the First World War to sources of information and public attitudes to the tone of the centenary commemorations.
A new British Legion campaign asks us all to say 'Thank You' to those who served 100 years ago in WW1, both British troops and those from all over the world. British Future is proud to be part of the 'Thank You' movement.
On 31 October 1914, Sepoy Khudadad Khan became the first Muslim recipient of the Victoria Cross, the nation’s highest award for bravery. To mark this anniversary, this new film from British Future explores what happened when descendants of WW1 Muslim soldiers came together with descendants of white WW1 Indian Army officers to learn more about their shared history at the National Archives
“No culture wars please, we’re British” – WW1 Centenary should be about reconciliation, not victory, says public
Voters on both sides of the referendum divide reject more politicised interpretations of the WW1 Centenary and would rather focus on reconciliation than victory, according to new research tracking public attitudes to the Centenary commemorations.
A new exhibition highlights the pivotal contribution of Sikh soldiers to the Allied war effort. Through their stories we don't just learn what life was like for these soldiers; we learn a lot about ourselves as a nation a century on, writes Jemimah Steinfeld.
Twenty-seven European leaders will observe Thursday 26th June the Last Post at Ypres before getting down to business as they haggle over the priorities and personnel for the European Union, writes Sunder Katwala.
As the British government seeks to ensure that centenary activities fully mark the contribution of Empire and Commonwealth soldiers, can it find common ground to reflect Australian and Canadian pride in the birth of a nation, Indian and Pakistani concerns about getting the form of recognition right, and South African scepticism about the contemporary relevance of a conflict fought between long lost Empires, asks Sunder Katwala.
As we enter the period of 1914-18 centenaries, Northern Ireland offers some pointers as to how to tackle some of the more difficult issues the rest of the UK will face, such as the nature of the war and how it should be commemorated, writes Richard Grayson.
The British public strongly prefer a solemn remembrance of the lives lost in the first world war to a centenary commemoration which places a central emphasis on Britain's victory of the war, according to new Ipsos MORI polling for British Future.
In British Future's latest report, Do Mention The War, we highlight why the first world war remains a pivotal cultural reference point for understanding the last century and how it shaped the country we have become today. It draws on original research into what the public know and don’t know about the first world war, why they think next year’s centenary will matter and what they want it to be about.
On 10th November thousands of bikers dressed in red rode around the 117-mile clockwise carriageway of the M25 to pay tribute to the war dead on Remembrance Sunday. Anton Shelupanov was one of the participants. Here he tells British Future about what it was like to join the so-called M25 poppy and why commemorating the first world war remains important today.
The national commemorations of the First World War centenary took place in a uniquely divisive and tumultuous period in Britain’s post-war history. The period from 2014 to 2018 saw two referendums, first on Scottish independence, then an EU referendum which exposed divisions across the UK by social class, geography, politics and across the generations. Two general elections re-shaped the two main political parties.
Against such a backdrop, it was in some ways remarkable that the centenary remained above such divisions, with majorities across our different identity tribes feeling that, overall, the commemorations struck the right tone. That it would do so was not so clear back in 2013, when there had been a public, political argument about what the message of the centenary should be. Yet most of the public saw the centenary as a chance to come together, remember the loss and sacrifice of so many who fought and to learn more about a history that was at risk of slipping out of reach.
British Future first undertook deliberative research in 2012-13 into public expectations of the First World War centenary, published in ‘Do Mention the War: will 1914 matter in 2014?’ in August 2013. That research provided a baseline for this attitudes tracker project across the centenary period, conducted in partnership with the BBC; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; and Imperial War Museums. In December 2014 YouGov tested public knowledge and attitudes to the centenary once it was underway. This was repeated again after the centenary of the Somme in 2016 and after the Armistice commemorations in 2018.
The People’s Centenary finds that most people in 2018 felt that the centenary had brought people together across the nation. That was not its only impact, however: people felt that they and their children had learned about their history and wanted to go on and find out more. One striking finding of this research was the increasing knowledge of the First World War service of soldiers from across the Commonwealth, with awareness of Indian soldiers increasing from being minority knowledge in 2012 to being known by seven in ten Britons by 2018. In the context of contemporary divisions by ethnicity and faith, the ongoing efforts of the extreme right to divide our society and the challenges of integration and belonging, that is a remarkable achievement.
What is more, the centenary succeeded in making events that took place a century ago, with no surviving combatants and a scarcity of documentary footage, feel relevant in the Britain of 2018. It triggered emotional connections through family links, by place and through greater understanding of the war’s impact on the society we live in today. It made us think more about the history that we share and which has shaped our identity today.
The general reader can choose from thousands of books published on the war, in our publication Do Mention The War we have produced our own bookshelf with 5 fiction and 5 non-fiction books we recommend,Which books have you learnt most from? Share your recommendations at #WWI books