Hemisphere creates war correspondent exhibition

Hemisphere is working with The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester for the War Correspondents: Reporting Under Fire Since 1914 exhibition, which opens in May. The show will be an audio and visual affects-heavy exploration of the experiences of war reporters.

This is the tenth exhibition Hemisphere has designed for IWMN, but the consultancy says it continues to pitch competitively for projects and beat two consultancies to claim this contract.

The show is also billed as the biggest exhibition of its kind to be staged in the UK, and an accompanying book is planned, published by Anova Books. There are discussions between the museum and The BBC to ’extend the life of content’ beyond its eight-month run. Elements of the exhibition will be moved to London’s Imperial War Museum, according to Hemisphere creative director Grant Windridge.

The personal experiences of journalists including Richard Dimbleby, Kate Adie, Martin Bell, John Simpson and Rageh Omaar have been documented in unique content designed by Hemisphere in collaboration with documentary producer and director Chris Salt.

Looking at war reporting from World War One until the present day, Windridge says the consultancy will try to ’unpack content drawn from personal stories and conflicts’. This will be expressed across the themes of changing technology, censorship, objectivity, opportunism, and ethics.

Imperial War Museum archive material is to be used in the exhibition, but there is an emphasis on unique material ’and the capacity to produce a new archive’, according to Windridge, who says Hemisphere has worked closely with the curatorial team but has not curated any content.

The AV approach will ’maximise connections between visitor and content,’ says Windridge, who adds, ’A direct filming style with eye contact allows us to run the gamut of smalland large-scale monitors, large-scale projection and video-screen presentation format.’

Presenting AV in a direct way means the reporters use their own medium making them, the ’living embodiment of story and subject; It’s what they do for a living,’ says Windridge. He adds, ’Some of them will talk about how being wounded has changed their outlook on life, their world view and their journalistic view’. The exhibition is designed to challenge preconceptions of war reporting and challenge what visitors may have seen or heard in the past, Hempisphere says.

Working with static graphics and wayfinding Hemisphere will design into the Imperial War Museum North’s Special Exhibition Gallery – a Daniel Libeskind-designed building – in which the consultancy has been given an L-shaped space with 4-12m-high ceilings.

War reports

  • War Correspondent: Reporting Under Fire Since 1914 opens on 28 May and runs until 8 January 2012 at The Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
  • War reporters interviewed for the exhibition include Phillip Gibbs, Martha Gellhorn, Claire Hollingworth, Alan Moorhead, Richard Dimbleby, Brian Hanrahan, Mike Nicholson, Jeremy Bowen, Martin Bell, Kate Adie, Rageh Omaar and John Simpson

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