Saturday, December 12, 2009

Exhibition: The Land Girls

From Culture 24:
Wartime history plays host to a wealth of untold tales and forgotten histories. The case of the Land Girls is one such story, whose efforts were overshadowed by tales of military heroism in post-World War II Britain.

An exhibition at Brighton Museum documents the work, uniforms and accounts of the Women’s Land Army (WLA) in a new show, The Land Girls: Cinderellas of the Soil.

Land Girls worked in agriculture, farming and forestry in the UK during WWI and II, taking the place of 250,000 men who had been called to fight. The exhibition is laid out over three rooms and is illustrated with a plethora of photographs, diary accounts, propaganda posters, manuals, paintings, dolls and uniforms.

What makes the show unique is that it has been hosted while many of its subjects are still alive, so the viewer is interacting with living history. Throughout we see photographs of the women now and then together with video accounts of their experiences.

The first gallery tells of how the women were drafted across the country, first in WWI with 23,000 recruits and later in WWII, when the organisation had 200,000 members.

There are posters showing enlistment campaigns and photographs of volunteers at work in the fields and despite the media’s representation of the work it was far from glamorous.

Exhibition: The Land Girls, Brighton Museum, Brighton, until March 14 2010


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