The End of the War

Artist residency

'You will have watched a hundred and one war films. You are never allowed to forget it, so youíll be prepared for the next oneí Ė Derek Jarman, Last of England

Itís 2017. It's an unusual time for British identity. Since the end of the Second World War Britainís relationship with Europe has been largely defined by the allied victory. The lived trauma of war may be fading over time but certain fantasies have prevailed. In a recent programme of post war films that I saw about British identity, it was surprisingly the poppy, the spitfire and the armed forces that punctuated, like an unmarked language, a diverse programme of experimental film work which only rarely directly addressed conflict itself.

As Britain imagines a new future and untethers itself from the project of post-war reconciliation that the EU represents, what Iím investigating in the Archives and Special Collections Centre at London College of Communication is how British cinema dreamt the post war landscape training audiences, as a form of rehearsal, to be ready for the history thatís to come.

Reports from the Archive

One: Residency