Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Sobering Up

This subtle but arresting image came just before Christmas from my friends Keran James and Michael Keenan who run the Studio 1.1 Gallery in London's Redchurch Street.  After a bitter year for so many people, I thought it was very appropriate.  It has an even more elegiac quality when you know that this is the site of the Battle of the Somme which took place during the First World War between 1 July and 18 November 1916. One of the most traumatic military operations ever recorded, there were more than one and half million casualties. 


  1. Now that the last veterans are gone it is fitting that the Great War, so called, remains in the collective memory. A sobering image indeed.

    Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

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  3. I like that comment, thank you Blue.

  4. I wish there were a bit more sobriety here. The political posturing of the past few days has crossed the line into insanity.

  5. Enough. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if America had had a president with the courage to say after 9/11 that we are going after the true causes of terrorism: ignorance, lack of education, poverty, lack of jobs. With the billions we have squandered on the war that never should have been, we could have been magnificent soldiers for peace. Happy new year and I hope the world can survive inspite of our elected officials.

  6. Stunning image.
    Happy 2010 to you.

  7. Last year, Harper's published a set of letters home from a kid who managed to survive the war. In one of them, he spoke about the luxury of not being cold and wet, and the lengths to which they would go to try and get out of the mud. If they had to pass a night in the open, they considered themselves lucky to find a corpse to sleep on.
    Every time I hear someone talk about starting a war, I think of that letter.

  8. Harry Patch, our last surviving 'tommy' from World War I died this year aged 111. He never talked about the war until he was 100. This clip
    shows him at the site of Passchendaele and his desire to visit a Germany war cemetery.



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