09 August 2014

August 2014

We recently commemorated one hundred years since the beginning of World War I. It is a sobering thought, and it is difficult not to ask oneself: Have we learnt anything? Have we moved any closer towards global understanding and peace? Have things changed? 

Below, a passage from The Space in Between:
... When the war broke out in August 1914, the Imperial Army became like a huge whale, sucking into itself thousands upon thousands of plankton-like conscripts. (He) was one of these conscripts. He was already twenty, but men were being conscripted from the age of eighteen. He did not believe in fighting, nor did he believe in a war that was focused on turning men into plankton to keep Imperial interests alive. He thought of Russia and Germany and Britain, thinking how similar they all were; each with an own agenda that had nothing to do with all the men being issued with uniforms and rifles. The men killed on the battlefields were no longer men, they were not even plankton; they were numbers and statistics, and, once they were de-personalized, they could be subtracted so much more easily. The faceless people moving the pieces across the chessboard were completely focused on winning; they were not interested in men who now were only numbers...

Information about The Space in Between

Information about Room Nineteen


  1. War in Europe seems inconceivable now, despite the fact that there are worrying echoes of the 1930's at the moment, so maybe we have moved on in that respect. However we are still living with the legacy of imperialist policies in the Middle East during WWI, and there seem very little sign peace there at the moment.

  2. I would definitely agree with you, Keith. The conflict is still there; it has simply moved a little further to one side. Although one can understand what has instigated present-day conflicts, one cannot help but wonder what it is that makes humans (at least some of them) so aggressive.