The ambitious, large-scale, immersive outdoor experience Dr Blighty recalls Brighton’s WWI wartime history, bringing the experiences of Indian soldiers – and the locals who came to care for them – movingly back to life via an immersive walk-through installation across the Royal Pavilion Estate.
Inspired by letters the soldiers sent back home to India, the event will seek to capture the essence of the hospital and those who recuperated here. Strike a Light will be delivering the community outreach section of this project between March and May.
More than a million men travelled from India to fight for the Allies during the First World War, their collective experiences constituting one of military history’s great untold stories. Between 1914 and 1916, over 2000 Indian soldiers wounded on the Western Front would be brought to a temporary hospital housed in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.
Strike a Light will be engaging with community groups across the city to promote the project, research this period of history and gather information, meet with key WWI projects including Gateways to the First World War and East Sussex in WWI, set up free creative and heritage activities with groups such as the Black and Minority Ethnic Elders, alongside Indian themed activities with artist Jane Lyster, setting up public talks with Co-Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra of Nutkhut, and attend Dhavinder Dhillon’s plaque unveiling, which honours Subedar Mir Dast, a Indian soldier who received the Victoria Cross, at the Indian Gate by the Royal Pavilion.
To join in with the programme of activities, see here.
Nutkhut says: ‘Thousands of letters were written from the Western Front back home to wives, mothers, daughters and sisters, and it’s the emotion within these letters that Dr Blighty is trying to bring into the public domain. They, alongside the propaganda and the censorship, give us an insight into the lives of these young men, and give these many anonymous soldiers a voice. The project will essentially tell a 100-year-old story, and make it a contemporary one for new audiences.’
See a short film about the project here: https://vimeo.com/152312685
We are pleased to be able to deliver a community strand to this new project and happy to engage with Nutkhut, a world class creative organisation to work on this commission in Brighton this spring.
To find out more, and how to participate, please contact Strike a Light by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07727 006538