Jean Seaton appointed as a fellow of the Imperial War Museum Institute for the Public Understanding of War and Conflict
Prof. Jean Seaton has been appointed as a fellow of the IWM Institute for the Public Understanding of War and Conflict. The project aims to draw on the knowledge and experience of a range of experts from the fields of arts and culture, policy, academia and the charity sector.
Activities over the institutes 18-month pilot will combine IWM’s own expertise with insights from related sectors, the institute says, helping make sense of today’s conflicts by drawing connections between past wars and the contemporary world and will include research and data-gathering, to public programming, academic partnerships and bespoke digital content.
During the pilot, the Institute will engage the public through a number of unique partnerships and challenging themes, including the Holocaust, refugees and displacement, sexual violence as a weapon of war and the role of social media in conflict.
In 2017, and again this year, the IWM in London and then Manchester respectively held Syria: A Conflict Explored with the aim of providing visitors with a better understanding of an extremely complex, on-going conflict, which is also believed to be the first conflict widely screened on YouTube.
Our visitors tell us that while information about war and conflict is ubiquitous, people do not feel that they get the whole picture or a deep understanding from news or social media. There is a desire for a physical connection to really understand the story of the world we live in today and its historical context is also key to real insight.
The Institute will explore the themes in partnership with universities, including a project on the Holocaust with the University of Bristol; a major season on refugees and displacement with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a project with King’s College London, exploring how social media propaganda contributes to the causes, course and consequences of today’s conflicts. A project with the London School of Economics and Political Science will look at sexual violence in conflict, a topic never-before-addressed by a UK national museum.
Alongside research projects and programming outputs, the Institute will also enable digital innovation in the form of its Making a New World, a season of exhibitions and programming exploring how the First World War has shaped the society we live in today, which will experiment with immersive digital experiences. In I was there: Room of Voices, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in first-hand accounts from IWM’s sound archive of experiences of the end of the war.