Screening of animated short films on WWI as part of the WWI Commemoration Events in South Africa

In July 2016, South Africa will commemorate the Centenary of the WWI Battle of Delville Wood, when 3 ‍‍200 troops of the South African Infantry Brigade arrived on the battlefield of Delville Wood in the department of La Somme (France).

On Friday 10th June 2016, nine animated short films ‘The Great War: Animated Memories’ were screened at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg.

This event was part of the WWI Commemoration Events organised in South Africa from June 8th to June 15th 2016 by the French Institute in South Africa, the Alliance Française network, the Goethe Institute and the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.

This programme of short films is offered by "Les Rencontres Audiovisuelles", in partnership with the "Historial de la Grande Guerre" (museum of the Great War) of Péronne, the International Animation Film Festival Anima (Brussels), and "Les Films du Nord".

The Centenary of the Great War is an opportunity to show that major event of our History through nine animated short films. Set on the front, in the trenches and under fire, or behind the front line, through female letters and through the memories of the elders or the collective memory, discover fascinating, sensitive and touching films by experienced directors, who revisit that catastrophe with a contemporary perspective.
With different techniques such as 3D animation, drawing, paper cut-outs, painting or plasticine, the directors invite us in their imaginary world and show once again the richness and the energy of the animated creations of today.

Watch the trailer of the animated short films here

Next screening: Tuesday 14 June 2016: 18:30 at the Alliance Française of Cape Town.

Background:100 Years of Memory - South Africa and WWI

The Battle of Delville Wood became one of the deadliest Somme engagements of the First World War, in which the Union of South Africa lost almost two-thirds of the complement of its Overseas Expeditionary Force in less than a week of warfare.

The South African Union was only four years old at the beginning of WWI in 1914. As part of the British Empire, the country became attached to the Allied war effort in several military operations in Africa and the Middle East (South West Africa, South East Africa, North Africa, and in Egypt and Palestine), and in western Europe. Over 200 000 White, African and Coloured South Africans went to fight as combatants or to labour as non-combatants on these varied fronts. Due to the political requirements of segregation, black Africans were only allowed to serve as labourers or as other unarmed auxiliary workers, and were all prohibited from bearing arms. By the end of hostilities, around 12,500 South Africans had either been killed in action or had died as a consequence of their active war service. In death they were segregated as they had been in life - black servicemen were not buried together in the same cemeteries with their white compatriots.

As part of the remembrance of the Delville Wood battle, the French Institute of South Africa, the Alliance Française network, the Goethe-Institut and the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation will be organising a series of events to commemorate the Union of South Africa’s engagement in the First World War. This project has obtained the “Label du Centenaire”, a French certification highlighting the most innovative and structured projects around the memory of WWI.

Historians (Bill Nasson, Tilman Dedering and others to be confirmed) will participate in a shared discussion of a century of commemoration of WWI in South Africa. Playwright and director Sylvaine Strike will create a performance alongside an exciting young cast to poetically convey the experience of young men who volunteered to be sent to the European battlefront, as well as the feelings back home in South Africa, a country geographically remote from the worst horrors of WWI. This play will also be performed in Durban and Cape Town. Finally, a showcase of animated short movies about WWI will be screened to provide a contemporary perspective on these events and experiences.

publie le 13/06/2016

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