The Barbados Museum & Historical Society Lauches Local Iteration Of The ‘Behind The Wire’ Exhibition
The story of World War I is filled with conflict, combat, captivity; however, little is known about civilian internment in Barbados or the contributions made to the First World War by Barbadians and West Indians. This year to commemorate Remembrance Day, which memorializes those soldiers who lost their lives in the war, the Barbados Museum & Historical Society in association with Aston University in the United Kingdom, launched a local iteration of the international travelling exhibition ‘Behind the Wire’
Located in the Upper Courtyard and Prison Cell of the Barbados Museum, ‘Behind the Wire: Civilian Internment in the British Empire 1914-1919 explores the internment of those Germans and Austrians who were detained because of their nationality. They were seized from ships and interned first at the Government Industrial School in St Philip then relocated to the Glendairy Prison facility. Speaking at the launch of the Exhibition on Thursday November 11th, 2021 in the Museum’s Walled Garden Theatre, visiting Professor and Creator of Behind the Wire, Professor Stefan Manz stated “This exhibition tries to focus on a different story during the first World War. We are well familiar with soldiers fighting on the frontline but little has been written about and known about how civilians actually experienced the first World War.”
Echoing his sentiments was Deputy Director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Kevin Farmer, who remarked “Exhibitions like this allow us to take a deeper dive into our history and to begin to recover those narrative voices that aren’t always being discussed. The exhibition is in keeping with what is ongoing in the wider research into social justice issues and really dealing with the decolonization of history.”
As part of the ‘Behind the Wire’ Exhibition programming, a youth workshop facilitated by Education & Community Outreach Officer, Kaye Hall and Coordinator for the Theatre Arts Associate Degree programme at the Barbados Community College, Michelle Hinkson-Cox was held on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021 from 1 – 4pm. This saw several students receiving a personalized tour from Professor Manz and later creating their own interpretations of life in Civilian Internment Camps. A virtual panel discussion was also held on the evening of Thursday November 11th, which saw a lively discussion between Professor Manz, Deputy Director Kevin Farmer, Colonel Glynne Grannum, Dr Glenford Howe and Geoff Ward.
‘Behind the Wire: Civilian Internment in the British Empire 1914-1919 will be on display at the Barbados Museum & Historical Society until November 28th, 2021. An accompanying brochure is available for sale at the Barbados Museum Shop. For more information, contact the Barbados Museum & Historical Society at (246) 538-0201 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BarbadosMuseum on Facebook and Instagram for upcoming Exhibitions and Events.