Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World War

Past Events and Conferences

Throughout 2014 CEGC project members organised a range of events, from high-profile and hugely popular public events to international conferences bringing together First World War scholars from across the disciplines. See below for further details.


Cultural Events

On 18th October as part of the Grote Woorden-event organised by AP deBuren at Nacht van de Geschiedenis (History Night) at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (as part of the Grote Woorden series) PI Buelens interviewed Christopher Clark and Stefan Hertmans.

Following the conference in Ypres in October 2014 a public tour of battlefields and spaces of cultural encounters around the area took place, including a visit to the Indian Memorial at Neuve Chapelle and a local exhibition detailing Indian experiences on the Western Front.

In London the Armistice day concert Terrible Beauty: Music and Writing of the First World War organised by PI Das, along with Awais-Dean, Maguire and Steinbach on 11 November 2014 at the candle-lit chapel at King’s College London, with writings and music from the colonial, neutral and belligerent countries selected by PL Das. A video-recording of the concert is being prepared and will be uploaded to the CEGC website.



International Conferences

The CEGC Project was launched by PI Das and AP Bardgett in a special panel chaired by Professor John Horne – PI of the Making War, Mapping Europe, HERA funded project – at the bi-annual conference of the International Society of the First World War in Paris in September 2013.

In February 2014 , PI van den Berg organised in collaboration with AP Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach am Neckar the conference ‘Kultur- und Verlagspolitik im Ersten Weltkrieg’ (13-14 February 2014) focusing on German cultural policy around the First World War where the Utrecht team PI Buelens and Tessa Lobbes gave a lecture.

Following a screening of the IWM film ‘Whose Remembrance’, PI Das and AP Bardgett participated in a special session during the ‘India and the First World War’ conference, organised by the United Services Institute in New Dehli in February 2014.

Stachura and Pędzisz contributed to UAM’s European Researcher’s Night in September 2014.

AP Dendooven organised – with support and contributions from PI Das – an international conference ‘Indians on the Western Front’ at In Flanders Field Museum, Ypres, in October 2014. The conference was attended by Das, Liebau, Lobbes, Schmid and AP Bardgett and had papers from Das, Liebau and Bardgett. The conference was attended by the Indian Ambassador to Belguim, and the Mayor of Ypres. The conference was supported by United Services Institute, India

The two days following the public Terrible Beauty concert held on the 11 November 2014, the ‘First World War: Literature, Culture, Modernity’ conference took place. Co-organised by PL Das in conjunction with the British Academy in London, where papers were give by  project members Buelens, Das and Steinbach.

Das and Lobbes presented papers at the ‘Intellectuals and the Great War’ conference in Ghent in December 2014.

Associate Partner Events

Phonographed Sounds – Photographed Moments.
Sound and image documents from WWI German prison camps

Museum Europäischer Kulturen


The Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission was founded in 1915 with the goal of documenting the language and music of foreign soldiers interned in German prison camps. Among the holdings of the Berlin Phonogram Archive in the Ethnologisches Museum, the wax cylinder collection “Phonographische Kommission (Phonographic Commission)” with some 1000 cylinders remains the most extensive of the historical collections. The sound documents consist exclusively of music recordings.

Photographs from the holdings of the Museum Europäischer Kulturen from the Wüns-dorf and Zossen prison camps near Berlin complete the sound recording collection. These prisoners received special treatment from the Germans, who wanted to “re-educate” them to serve in the German ranks. To this end, the photographs taken by Otto Stiehl for the camp commandant’s office were also used for propaganda.

The ‘Phonographed Sounds – Photographed Moments’ exhibition ran at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen from October 2014 to June 2015.