IWM was founded whilst the First World War was still raging to help reflect and record the experiences of those who lived, fought and died in the conflict. In 2018, we are pleased to reveal that we will be marking the end of the centenary of the First World War with a special season of programming at IWM London and IWM North.

Our Making a New World season will allow visitors explore how the First World War has shaped our society in a range of innovative exhibitions, installations and immersive experiences.

We’ll also be marking significant anniversaries at our historic Second World War sites and hosting innovative live events, performances and debates that reflect the issues, stories and experience of those whose lives have been shaped by war.

Discover some of the highlights of our 2018 programme below.    

Lest We Forget?

At IWM North, Lest We Forget? will explore how symbols of commemoration - from the poppy to the two minute silence - have endured for a century but also sparked controversy.

Exhibition highlights include John Singer Sergent’s iconic painting Gassed, which will return home from its two-year international tour, and an original Joey puppet from the National Theatre production of War Horse. Complementing this exhibition, a new Big Picture Show will be launched at IWM North, a creative response using immersive surround sound and 360 degree projection to bring people’s experiences of conflict to life.

Lest We Forget? will open on 27 July 2018.

Renewal: Life after the First World War in Photographs

© IWM (Q 9687)

At IWM London, a free major exhibition will explore how societies have recovered, evolved and even flourished in the aftermath of war.

Renewal: Life after the First World War in Photographs will open on 21 September 2018 and will draw on IWM’s rich photography collection, highlighting the creative ways in which lives, landscapes and national identities were rebuilt after war.

Poppies come to IWM

Photograph of Poppy sculpture
Image: ©Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces

We are also pleased to announce that we will display Wave and Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper as part of the final year of 14-18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies.

Wave will be at IWM North from 8 September to 25 November 2018 and Weeping Window will be at IWM London from 6 October to 18 November 2018. These two poppy sculptures have been gifted to 14-18 NOW and IWM, and will become part of IWM’s collection at the end of the UK tour.

African Soldier

© IWM (Q 15409)
© IWM (Q 15409)

A new multi-screen installation by artist John Akomfrah will open at IWM London on 21 September. It remembers the millions of African men and women who served in the First World War, combining sound, historic footage and newly created film

African Soldier will run until 31 March 2019.

Sound and Silence

© IWM (485 PH)
© IWM (485 PH)

I Was There: Room of Voices at IWM London will give visitors the chance to hear the powerful memories of the men and women who lived through the First World War, bringing their personal stories to life.

We’ll also offer visitors the chance to experience Moments of Silence, an immersive installation commissioned from artists 59 Productions.

Live events

Frantic Image (Credit Helen Maybanks)
Frantic Image (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

A series of live events will complement the exhibition programme. At IWM London, there will be a performance by Frantic Assembly’s 2018 Ignition Company, made up of young men aged 16-20 and the IWM Remembrance Lecture will explore the question Why are we silent when conflict is loud?, bringing together a panel of artists, historians and psychologists to challenge and discuss the role organised silences play in 21st century remembrance.

IWM’s annual Short Film Festival will run from 25 – 29 October 2018 and include a Making a New World award category, inviting filmmakers from around the world to respond to themes explored as part of the season.

At IWM North, Contagion, a new dance piece exploring viral infection and the Spanish Flu will be performed.

Anniversaries at HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford

HMS Belfast on the Thames

HMS Belfast was launched in March 1938. In 2018, we’ll be remembering her service and sharing stories from her extraordinary history. Explore our special interactive to learn more about life on board and the key events the ship was involved with.

We’ll also be marking RAF 100 at IWM Duxford, the historic airfield that played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain and the story of the RAF.

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