August 4, 2003, (near) Tikrit, Iraq
© Geert van Kesteren
Courtesy the artist

Post Up: The War of Images

A collaboration with the Mass Observation Archive

Using material from the Mass Observation Archive held at the University of Sussex, BPB exhibitions, and participants’ personal experiences as starting points, Lam and the participants have been considering the way in which memory of war and media images affect modern day understanding of conflict.

Through research, conversation, writing, art and photography, the veterans and young people have together been exploring media manipulation (propaganda), and the role of photojournalism. The two groups naturally have very different perspectives, but through the exchange of ideas and opinions, they have shared their experiences, and begun to understand better their own and others’ feelings about war in the 21st Century.

The participants created a range of artwork throughout the project, including an 8 page newspaper featuring collages, poems, and further details about the project. Download the newspaper here.

Post Up concluded with a free outdoor event staged in the city centre by photographer Anthony Lam with veterans and year 9 pupils from Patcham High School in Brighton. The rally style event, held in the heart of the city provided an opportunity for members of the public to respond, react, and participate. The event included a parade, peace wall, balloons, banner making and a programmed speakers corner with short soapbox style presentations from a range of people including veterans, students, Julian Stallabrass, curator of BPB 2008, and members of the public.

Post Up is a collaboration between the Mass Observation Archive and Brighton Photo Biennial supported through Their Past Your Future 2 (TPYF2) Programme. Photographer Anthony Lam has been working with veterans and year 9 pupils from Patcham High School in Brighton to increase knowledge and understanding of the impact of contemporary conflict.

A resource for teachers accompanies this project. click here to access it.

The Mass Observation Archive is a unique internationally renowned institution based at the University of Sussex, which holds all the papers generated by 1930s’ social research organisation Mass Observation. Mass Observation carried out a wide range of studies during the period of World War Two and continues to record people’s feelings about war in the present day. The material includes diaries, letters, photographs, accounts and artefacts. It is currently working with researchers and University teachers to document and explore the way in which memory of war affects modern day understanding of conflict.

For images of the outdoor event click here

For images of the Post Up workshops click here

To see participants' artwork click here

To view a selection of peace wall comments click here