Stripped to the waist and sweated chest
Midday’s reprieve brings much-needed rest
From trenches deep toward the sky.
Non-fighting troops and yet we die.
– extract from The Black Soldier’s Lament by George A. Borden
28 June 1914, this date is a defining date for world history – Archduke Ferdinand was shot dead by a Serbian.
The assassination of the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne led to the mobilisation of troops in 4 different continents, resulting in casualties of over 37 million people worldwide and at the end, the disintegration of two empires.
But how did the death of one man, lead to such a catastrophe, and what does it have to do with Africans?
Narrative Eye’s Empire Needs Men Exhibition travels throughout London with a thought-provoking display of images and artefacts charting the First World War from an African perspective.
To 28 February. Pimlico Library.
2-28 March. Croydon Supplementary Education Project
30 March – 25 April. Dalston CLR James Library
27 April – 30 May. Stratford Library
1 – 27 June. The Gate Library, Forest Gate
29 June – 1 August. Ealing Library
3 – 29 August. Hounslow Library
31 August – 26 September. North Harrow Library
28 September – 31 October. Enfield Town Library
2 November – 19 December. West Indian Association of Service Personnel
For more details see http://narrative-eye.org.uk/empireneedsmen.html