Glasgow & West Scotland

Light shows mark Glasgow connection to First World War

The projections on the side of the City Chambers read: Their Name Liveth for Evermore
Image caption "Glasgow's War" is being projected onto the entire frontage of Glasgow City Chambers

Two light shows are being held in George Square to mark the experiences of Glaswegians during the First World War.

Film, images and audio are being projected onto Glasgow City Chambers during a 27-minute narrative.

Simultaneously, the names of every Glaswegian who fell during the conflict are being beamed on to the Cenotaph.

There are seven screenings of "Glasgow's War": at 19:00, 19:45, 20:30, 21:15, 22:00, 22:45 and 23:27.

City 'changed'

Glasgow's Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, who is championing the city's centenary commemorations for the First World War, said she hoped the event would inspire today's Glaswegians to connect with their city's war past.

Image caption The names of every Glaswegian who fell during WWI are being beamed on to the Cenotaph

The Lord Provost said: "This is not a dim and distant history for Glasgow. One hundred years on, we are all connected to the First World War, either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities or because of its long term impact on society and the world we live in today.

"The war changed Glasgow and Glaswegians forever. More than 200,000 men went to war from our city, 18,000 never returned and a further 35,000 were left badly injured or disabled. The war also totally transformed the role of women in society when they stepped into the jobs vacated by men going off to war.

"We need to ensure that these stories of Glaswegians between 1914 and 1918 are captured and saved for future generations and I hope that the spectacular Glasgow's War installation will inspire people to learn about their own family histories."

The City Chambers show has been put together by projection artists Ross Ashton and sound artist Karen Monid.

Both collaborated on the Golden Jubilee light and sound show that was beamed onto Buckingham Palace in 2002.

They also created a similar projection show for Glasgow City Chambers - 'Burns Illuminated' - to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.

'Great honour'

Ross Ashton said: "It's a great honour to be asked back to Glasgow for such a moving and important event in the city's history.

"Like many people we were unaware of the deep impact of World War One on the city of Glasgow and it has been a moving and humbling experience."

The entire frontage of the Glasgow City Chambers acts as a massive screen whilst 24 high power projectors project the hundreds of images onto the building.

The show also features text taken from letters, diaries, newspaper and speeches from 1914-1918.

Some texts have been specially transcribed for this event and have never been heard before.

They include a first hand account of a soldier's life in the Mesopotamian campaign of 1917 and the prison letter of anti-war campaigner James Maxton.

The audio pieces are read by a number of Glaswegians ranging in age from 16 to 60-years-old.

Karen Monid said: "We wanted to make this piece a personal journey for Glasgow.

"The voices you will hear are almost entirely the voices of Glaswegians from words written at the time. Drawn from documents of the period - this is the city of Glasgow telling its own story."

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