The Great War in Translation

The virtual exhibit will pick up on a few main vignettes, or historical narratives, to follow as it presents the Great War through original documents and their translation into modern media equivalents. One major focus will be upon individual creation of media: firstly, involving a pair of brothers from Alberta who both served in WWI, and secondly, involving an Albertan doctor on the front. The other major thematic focus will be the war experience through other lenses: namely that of the First Nations, and through the lens of media made for mass consumption.  The storyline is one about media and its reception, and how it shapes our view of events and our understanding of the past, rather than a storyline focused solely on a single individual’s experiences.  Instead, the storyline centres on how mass-media translates and communicates such individual experiences to a wider audience—both when the media is originally created (for example through photographs, letters, post cards, cartoons, posters, and art) and to audiences later, who are looking back on past events from both individual and mass-media perspectives.