We’re here because we’re here, 2016, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, 14-18 NOW.

Big Ideas, Big Impact: Creating understanding through international cultural projects

Mon 3 Jun 19, 6pm–7pm

We’re here because we’re here, 2016, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, 14-18 NOW.
Past program

Free entry

NGV International

Clemenger BBDO Auditorium (enter north entrance, via Arts Centre forecourt)
Ground Level

Hearing loops and accessible seating are available.

For the past five years 14–18 NOW has brought to life stories of the First World War through the arts, touching over 35 million people. One hundred years after the war the project invited artists to engage with past and present, often in dialogue with historical foes.

New work was commissioned from 420 contemporary artists including Paul Cummins and Tom Piper’s renowned sea of poppies at the Tower of London; They Shall Not Grow Old by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson; William Kentridge’s The Head & the Load at Tate Modern, which examined the impact of colonialism in Africa during the war; and Brink Productions’ Memorial, bringing together major Australian festivals with London’s Barbican to stage Alice Oswald’s great poem.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14–18 NOW, leads a discussion exploring how we build understanding between nations, and how cultural projects make us take a closer look at the stories we tell about ourselves and each other.

This is an Auslan interpreted program.

14–18 Now
14–18 NOW was the UK’s arts program for the First World War centenary. Working with arts and heritage partners all across the UK, we commissioned new artworks from 420 contemporary artists, musicians, film makers, designers and performers, inspired by the period 1914–18. An incredible 35 million people engaged with the program of extraordinary arts experiences between 2014 and 2018. 14–18 NOW commissioned 125 projects in 220 locations across the UK, touching millions of people emotionally and engaging 8 million young people with the First World War.


Jenny Waldman CBE is Director of the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme, 14-18 Now. Previously she was Creative Producer of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Festival ran for 12 weeks, involved hundreds of events across the UK and attracted 19.8 million attendances.

Wayne Crothers is Senior Curator, Asian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). He spent a total of eighteen years living in Japan, including two years at Kyoto Seika University researching traditional Japanese art practices, completed a two-year Master of Fine Art Degree at Tama Art University in Tokyo, and lectured for six years at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.

Kath Mainland joined Melbourne International Arts Festival as Executive Director in 2016 from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, where she had spent seven years as Chief Executive. She has worked in and around Festivals for over 25 years and acted as a trustee on a number of arts boards including chairing Festivals Edinburgh, the high-level organisation created to take the lead on the festivals’ joint strategic development.

Helen Salmon is Director of the British Council in Australia, with a 25-year career in theatre and public art in both the UK and Australia. Helen is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers, and Commerce. She has served as a Board Director of Playwriting Australia and Monkey Baa Theatre Company in Sydney, and on the Council of the International Theatre Institute’s British Centre.

Presented by the British Council.

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