About the Conflict, War and Culture Programme
'War and conflict' has changed a great deal for the military in the Western world; and arts and the media express themselves in more innovative and participatory ways than ever before. The dynamic between 'the military' and popular understanding of what they do and who they are has never been more complex - or liable to change so fast and so deeply.
On this basis, RUSI's initiative will look afresh at human security in the Twenty-first century. Wars create conditions that render populations vulnerable to the symptoms of human insecurity - from poverty and epidemics to organised crime and human trafficking, to name but a few. International civil wars since the 1970s have caused more than 20 million fatalities while the HIV/AIDS epidemic since 1985 has led to 35 million deaths.
Engaging Artists to redefine the relationship between war and culture
The artists selected to participate in this initiative are truly at the forefront of their respective cultural fields and have offered society a unique perspective in their consideration of conflict and war. We are honoured to recognise these artists who have used their chosen medium to address a wide range of issues related to conflict and war, whether it be an incisive analysis through the art of film-making on the role of monarchy and leadership at times of national crisis, thoughtfully documenting the enlistment of young women into human trafficking in the aftermath of war and providing a voice to one such woman's suffering through the craft of acting, or taking great care to portray through music the challenges that today's wounded veterans face upon returning home from and reintegrating into civil society. All of these artists have drawn upon their unique talents to engage with society's relationship to modern war and conflict.
RUSI is the oldest surviving defence think-tank in the world. It was established by the Duke of Wellington in 1831 and has been at the forefront of military and security thinking for 180 years. It works closely with government and the Armed Services and has a constant dialogue with policy-makers, international leaders, opinion leaders, media and diplomats.
The Institute recognises that it is critical for defence policy to be open to new and fresh perspectives. It has never been more important for our wider culture to understand military and security issues. Defence professionals must reach out and engage the public and through the interaction with these important figures we hope to achieve better understanding. With an exciting series of presentations throughout the year, these evenings will be designed to offer the public access to major figures in art, media and the creative industries and to discussion with members of the military and security establishment, as well as the interested public.
For this initiative, the Institute is reaching out to key figures in the world of the arts and media to structure its approach to the War and Culture relationship around these iconic artistic figures. Using the personal insights of such performers, artists and creators, RUSI wants to redefine the nature of the Conflict, War and Culture relationship for our society in the twenty-first century.