Bodies of metal, shells of memory - 'Trench Art', and the great war re-cycled.
J MAT CULT
43 - 67.
'Trench Art' is the evocative but misleading term used to describe a wide variety of objects in various media made by soldiers, prisoners of war, and civilians during the First World War (1914-18) and the succeeding inter-war period (1919-39). The production of such objects appears as a widespread human response to the conditions of modern warfare, with examples coming from the Beer War and many if not most 20th century conflicts. This essay focuses on metal 'Trench Art' from the Western Front between 1914 and 1939. It offers an initial categorization of types, and explores their various symbolic dimensions as souvenirs and mementoes, objectifications of loss, war trophies, and as materializations of the relationships between object and maker, men and women, the warring nations, and the living and the dead. It is suggested that 'Trench Art' is an important and hitherto overlooked source for understanding the cultural memory of 20th century war.
|Title:||Bodies of metal, shells of memory - 'Trench Art', and the great war re-cycled|
|Keywords:||Great War, grieving, memory, metalwork, souvenirs, 'Trench Art'|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology|
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