'You do not belong here'

Online Webinar

Friday 19 November 2021, 6.30-7.30pm

The challenges for military veteran writers in commemorating Afghanistan

This panel discussion extends and develops research by Dr Jane Potter and Dr Niall Munro about war writing and the commemoration and memory of war. 

Building on a recent case study that considered how nostalgia can affect the way we think and write about war, this event brings Jane and Niall together with two veterans of Afghanistan: Tom Laaser and Jo Young. Both Tom and Jo took part in the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre's Veterans' Poetry Workshops in 2019 and have written powerfully about their experiences in military settings - writing that they will share as part of the event.

Event details

Date: Friday 19 November 2021

Time: 6.30-7.30pm (GMT)

Location: Online 

War torn Kabul, Afghanistan

The panel will discuss the recent divisive departure of US and other troops from Afghanistan and how the war in the country might be commemorated.

  • Is it too soon to write about the conflict?
  • What kind of writing is appropriate?
  • How do you commemorate a conflict that is ongoing or just finished?

Drawing on the experience of earlier wars, such as Vietnam, the panel will also reflect on what might happen in the future to the memory of the war in Afghanistan and how the prevailing narrative around such wars can become distorted or rewritten. 

Given the problems associated with evacuating Afghan translators and other civilians who helped American and British troops, the panel will consider how commemoration and writing can pay attention to the people who are frequently forgotten or ignored during and after war.

Image credits:

Afghanistan humvee deployment - Image by Amber Clay from Pixabay 
Kabul - Photo by Mohammad Rahmani on Unsplash