Culture and Sustenance Festival: Meanings and Legacies of the Great War

Posted on 06 November 2014

The Culture and Sustenance Festival:
Meanings and Legacies of the Great War

Wednesday 19 November - 10am - 5pm

Keele University Sustainability Hub

A major festival focussing on culture and survival during the Great War and its continued relevance over the century is to be held at Keele University on Wednesday 19 November.

The Culture and Sustenance Festival: Meanings and Legacies of the Great War consists of four interlocking workshops involving creativity, research and community participation. The workshops are connected by the themes of sustaining and re-animating life during the war through drama, music and food.

Threaded through the day will be opportunities provided by B-Arts, a local company of artists and producers, to make and taste bread, including the kind of bread that was produced in the Great War to keep it off the ration. All the events explore relationships between the individual and the community, tackling themes of gender, working lives and memory. The Festival will contribute to the national, regional and local commemorations of World War One.

A series of workshops and presentations feature a Great War focus.

Admission to the day-time sessions and lunch are free.

The evening performance is £14 for adults and £7 for students.

To register:


Sustaining Daily Life: bread now and then
10.00am - 11.00am in the Sustainability Hub

B-Arts, a local company of artists and producers, will provide the opportunity for Festival participants to make bread and bake it in their mobile wood-fired oven. Their project ‘Bread in Common’ has shown that memories of everyday bread making, buying and eating can open up the history of a neighbourhood to its current inhabitants and link people to the ways in which daily life was sustained in the past.

Women, food and the challenges of sustainability in everyday life
11.00am - 12.30pm in the Sustainability Hub

In discussion with a diverse audience, including those currently concerned with the politics of food (from allotments to food banks), Karen Hunt and Sherilyn
MacGregor explore whether there are practical lessons to be drawn from how ordinary women responded to the food crisis during the Great War.

Lunch (Free) - 12.30pm - 1.30pm in the Sustainability Hub

B-Arts will make some examples of the different kinds of bread that were produced during the Great War so that it did not have to be rationed.

The Great War and the Railway Men of Staffordshire
1.30pm - 3.00pm in the Sustainability Hub

The workshop focuses on one of the best known musical documentaries: The Knotty, which addresses the effects of the Great War on the railway men from
Staffordshire. We explore how these scenes were developed by concentrating on train driver Harry Sharratt. Using archival and interview material, together with photographic images and film, members of the current ‘Ages and Stages Company’ will work with us to show how Harry’s war recollections and experiences were transformed artistically into intergenerationally resonant drama.

Tea break - 3.00pm - 3.30pm in the Sustainability Hub

There will be an opportunity to taste some of the different breads baked on site during the Festival. In true Great War style, you can try it without butter or even without margarine!

Music under Fire: Making Music during the Great War
3.30pm - 5.00pm in the Sustainability Hub

This performance workshop is part of an on-going research project on Concert Life in Europe during the Great War. Drawing on archival material in Paris and
London, it reanimates examples of concerts put on by the singer Jane Bathori, when she was given the chance to direct the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in
war-time Paris, ensuring that music continued to be heard in the city despite the bombardment. The workshop mixes performances and discussion with readings from private letters and press reviews.

The Badke Quartet: Music Under Fire: Paris & London (1914-1918)
19 November 2014 7.30pm: Keele University Chapel

The Badke Quartet joins forces with Simon Callaghan, Olivia Ray Mezzo Soprano, sound collective and conductor Tom Hammond in a fascinating event curated by Professor Barbara Kelly, of Keele University.The evening performance is £14 for adults and £7 for students.