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Concordia remembers the Great War

by Eloise Carolan October 9, 2018
Concordia remembers the Great War

“The World Remembers” immortalizes the names of the dead.


The World Remembers, a memorial dedicated to the lives lost in World War I, is currently on exhibition in the Webster Library.

The installation displays the names of those who died in the war. Among them were soldiers, nurses, mothers, war brides, widows, conscientious objectors, volunteers, farmers and children. “The name of the individual is projected onto a screen and showcased for half an hour before transitioning onto the next person,” said John Latour, teaching and research librarian in the faculty of fine arts.

The project was developed in 2014 by R.H. Thomson, an actor and writer from Toronto. His organization, The World Remembers, is a non-profit that embraces Canadian multiculturalism. “For the first time in history, we will not only remember but we will also honour shared histories,” The World Remembers website states. The exhibit strives to accurately represent the origins of those who contributed to Canada’s WWI effort.

The installation coincides with the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. “In 2014, the installation began depicting the names of the soldiers that died in 1914, the first year of the war,” said Latour. This year, its fifth consecutive year, the installation showcases the names of those that died in 1918, the final year of the war.

The World Remembers has been displayed in museums, libraries, and exhibits nationally and internationally; Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany are among the host countries.

Concordia is the only university in Quebec hosting the memorial. “The presentation of the project varies; the emphasis changes from country to country depending on where the project is being shown,” said Latour.

Latour is also chair of the Library Exhibition Committee. He and his team program and showcase temporary exhibitions in the library; they have only hosted one other projected exhibition before. “The centrally located exhibition on the second floor of the library will give many students the opportunity to see the projection,” said Latour. The changing names render the exhibition versatile, keeping viewers engaged from place to

place. “Although the project has an international scope, right now students can see how the projection is specific to Canada,” Latour said.

Latour has coordinated the event since The World Remembers organization reached out to Concordia. The exhibits are funded by private donors and contributions from participating countries, as stated on the organization’s website.

To further mark the 100th anniversary of World War I, books highlighting the Canadian perspective of the conflict will be displayed on the fourth floor of the Webster Library in November.

The World Remembers is on display until Nov. 11

Photo by Hannah Ewen.

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