Exhibition - Women, War and Peace


Senedd, Cardiff Bay: 8 August - 30 September 2017

In the 100 years since the first world war, how have women felt the impact of war, and contributed to the search for peace? This is the question that WCIA will explore in our latest exhibition: Women, War and Peace.

View News Story and video of Exhibition Launch

Visit WCIA's Women, War and Peace histories pages

Visit #WomenWarPeace Our Stories - live contributions to the exhibition

Contemporary Global/Welsh Perspectives

The first part of the exhibition takes a global as well as a Welsh perspective through the work of Lee Karen Stow, an independent documentary photographer based in the East Riding of Yorkshire and an honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of Hull. Her work has been displayed at the Universities of Cambridge and Hull, the Museum of Liverpool and the UN Headquarters in New York, and now for the first time a selection of her photos will be on display in Wales.


The inspiration for her documentary work came from a visit to Sierra Leone in 2007, when she met women displaced by a decade of civil war. Since then she has devoted her documentary photographic practice to recording the personal narratives of women of war and conflict, and women who campaign for peace. In the UK and the US she has met and documented stories of fear, loss, resilience and survival of women refugees forced to flee their country as a result of war.

Alongside this, will be specially commissioned new work, exploring Welsh stories of war and peace. In Lee's words: "In 2017 Wales for Peace asked me to photograph some of the many women in Wales involved in or affected by war and conflict, along with a fraction of women who have campaigned and who continue to work and hope for peace. The faces on the walls here will only be a few examples of the many individuals out there whose stories have yet to be told and shared. We hope this exhibition can begin a conversation about the historic and ongoing presence of war on our lives, and the ongoing search for peace." 


Young People Voicing Peace: schools photojournalism project

When Lee visited Wales, she was filmed being interviewed by photography students from Whitchurch High School about her work as a photojournalist. Groups from six schools in Wales, inspired by this film, went on to create their own stories, discovering the peace heritage of their own communities. We'll be showing a selection of these films in the exhibition, as well as in our schools conference in September. 

View Digital Stories by South Wales Schools

Welsh women responding to the First World War

Book of remembrance

Two of the documents held in the Temple of Peace will be on display alongside this work. The Welsh National Book of Remembrance, contains the names of around 35,000 names of those who died in the First World War. The 'Remembering for Peace' exhibition, which tells the story of the Book, has toured many venues in the first two years of the Wales for Peace project, and this time the focus will be on the women listed. Around 57,000 women enrolled in the Women's Auxiliary Corps in 1917-18, and it is the story of a few of them that we will explore. As ever, the digital copy of the Book will be available alongside the real thing. Who will you discover? 

women with petition

The women's petition for peace, 1923-24 is a little known document with an extraordinary story. Over the course of a few short months 390,296 women in Wales (around 60% of the female population at the time) signed a petition asking the women of America to use their influence to ask their government to join the League of Nations, as a means of avoiding the horror of another world war. The petition will be on display and we will further explore its history as part of the exhibition. 

Our stories: #womenwarpeace

Throughout the summer, as a response to the exhibition, we will be asking people to contribute the stories of the women in their lives who have been affected by war or who have campaigned for peace. The hope is to populate our 'peace map' with stories from across Wales. You can keep an eye on this campaign through Twitter #womenwarpeace, or you can go straight to our peace map to add your story! 


With thanks to the National Assembly Commission, the European Commission Office in Wales and the Heritage Lottery Fund for financially supporting this project. Partners include Ffotogallery, the national agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales, who were responsible for the schools workshops, Women's Archive Wales, the Royal British Legion, the National Library of Wales, Cardiff University Special Collections and Archives, the Armed Forces Community Covenant and many others, without whom this project would not have been possible. 


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