“Moments of Silence” a moving exhibition to see at the Imperial War museum of London on the theme of the World War One

picture taken by Yasmine Taviot

Moments of Silence is one of the three exhibitions of the Imperial war museum on the theme of the First World war, of the “Making a New world” Season exhibitions at the Imperial War Museum of London marking the 100 years anniversary of the end of the war. Moments of Silence is about the remembrance ritual. A great question is asked, what can be heard in silence?

Pictures were taken by Yasmine Taviot 

12 recordings of this ritual can be heard in the exhibition produced by Tony and Olivier Award-winning artists 59 Productions. A number of which were recorded at 11 am on 11 November 2017 from all around the UK but also the first ever recorded silence at the 1929 Cenotaph Remembrance Service to present day silences at Everest Base Camp and so much more.

What really puzzled me is when you have to walk in a completely black corridor where you can see nothing but only hear the recordings louder and louder. At the end there’s a projection of an animated cloud of dust which rises and falls, transforming itself into images of First World War battlefields.

I think this exhibition made us explore how the First World War has shaped the society we live in today.

During my journey through the exhibition, I felt very uncomfortable but also emotional as the recordings are really moving. I wasn’t in my place, the recordings were really intimate and I felt like I was violating the intimacy of these people.
Hearing a recording is really different than watching a video you can’t see people’s face so you have to imagine how they felt, what they were commemorating, did they lost someone? 

I read a quote in the exhibition that says “many things can be heard in silence, danger, anxiety, and threat, anger, protest and defiance. Some listen hard in the darkness; others stop making music so their words can be more clearly heard”  and it totally took its meaning while the exhibition.

I realized that feeling uncomfortable was maybe the goal.  War is an uncomfortable topic but we have to remember it. We always do in the same way but this innovative exhibition shows us another way to remember the great war.

The exhibition is free and last till the 31 March 2019 at the Imperial War Museum of London and I highly recommend it.