2014 – 2015 A WW1 CENTENARY EXHIBITION AT THACKRAY MEDICAL MUSEUM – MEDICINE AND CONFLICT
In 2013 Leeds Thackray Medical Museum received HLF funding to redesign one of its galleries to house a four year-WW1 Centenary exhibition. The theme was the complex relationship between medicine and conflict. The exhibition focussed on limb loss, hearing loss and impairment, and psychological injury – PTSD or shell shock. The new gallery enabled some of the museum’s prosthetic and hearing aid collection to be displayed, alongside their 21st century counterparts.
From the outset, the voice of today’s injured veteran was a vital component of the exhibition. We wanted their story to be told in their words, from the point of injury on the battlefield, to aftercare and rehabilitation. We interviewed veterans from modern combat zones such as Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Bosnia the Gulf war, Iraq and Afghanistan. The resulting exhibition includes dramatization of their stories, filmed interviews, and their artistic response to their experiences. The exhibition was opened by HRH Princess Anne on 11 February 2016, just over a century after the visit by her great grandfather King George V, to the building in its role as the East Leeds Military War Hospital.
This was a challenging role which included interviews with serving military personnel as well as veterans, gaining permissions to film on MOD property and subject to a range of restrictions while covering politically and personally sensitive subject matter.
Recruitment and interviews with wounded veterans
Logistical support filming on location at MOD property
Working with Digifish to produce animation and film for exhibition
Liaising with academic staff and Ph.D students from Leeds University
Supporting the Exhibition Officer on all aspects including interpretation
Ensuring disabled access to handling and other sessions for participants
Conducting interviews with disabled veterans, medical and military personnel
Facilitating handling and discussion sessions with disabled veterans and other participants
This was a freelance role, commissioned by Thackray Medical Museum as part of the HLF centenary exhibition programme. The role was contracted at 3 days a week for eleven months.
Exhibition announcement by the Thackray can be viewed here.
Click here to view the Thackray Museum’s own online introduction to the exhibition.
Read the DigVentures review of the exhibition on their website here.