Delegates at the Motherhood, Loss and the First World War conference

Offer an opportunity to reflect at the end of programmes to deepen understanding and impact.

Motherhood, Loss and the First World War Conference

Motherhood and Loss conference at the Institute of Historical Research in 2018 set out to bring together academic and community participants and to create a genuinely collaborative space. The academic contributions were curated by Edward Madigan from Royal Holloway University of London while Big Ideas was responsible for community contributors and creative responses.

The standard of presentations on all sides was exceptional; the coherence of the insights of academics and community contributors into the experiences of family bereavement during WW1 was notable. Community participants also contributed a dimension of emotional integrity and expression, for example in the #I’m a Yoruba Mother WW1 poem which concluded with the moving and memorable lines “when the pain is too much to bear, I salt my food with my tears.” Held over two days, the conference concluded with the performance of a specially commissioned violin suite by British composer Clare Connors, Peppermints and Guns. Connors’ composition was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on November 11, 2018.