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A counter-history of the SAS
2018 has been the centenary year of the Royal Air Force. While many think of the RAF in the sepia tones of the Battle of Britain, and the RAF leans heavily on a mystique that sets it apart from the army and navy, there is far more to be said about the service. We explore the role it has played in the last 100 years in bringing the asymmetry of air power to conflicts with often devastating effect.
The BBC drama Bodyguard misrepresents the actions and concerns of veterans working for peace.
Poppy Kohner examines the Army@theFringe season at the Edinburgh Festival and asks what becomes censored when elite institutions take on the programming and hosting of the arts.
Lauren Bryden & Poppy Kohner explore the implications of Rosie Kay’s production of 5 Soldiers: The Body Is The Frontline, a dance piece exploring the ‘physicality’ of war and its effect on soldiers' bodies. While captivating and enlightening, does placing the body at the centre of the narrative of war obscure political comment on what these bodies do and, crucially, why they do it? The support of the production by the British Army and their presence at the event raises important questions about the role of the military in public arts spaces.
Each of the episodes from both series of Our War focuses on a different platoon or company, with varying missions during their tours in Helmand Province (which dated from between 2006 and 2012). Common themes to each of them include the youth of those involved, and the gravity of what is being asked of them.
There are two plays on in London's West End currently that depict life in the UK military, and they do so critically. Our Boys', by Jonathan Lewis, at the Duchess Theatre is a revival, having first been performed in 1993. Sandi Toksvig's Bully Boy is at the St James Theatre. There is considerable similarity in the themes of the two plays: why young men join the armed forces, how they are often neglected when injured, and the horror of contemporary war in general.