Responses to 'Wounded, Conflict, Casualties and Care'

An overview of participants Yarn stories created in response to the Science Museum's exhibition.

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Smudger explained about the project at a meeting of the Leeds North Breakfast Club, I was eager to become involved as we recently graduated together, having completed a BA(hons) Counselling and Psychology in Community Settings and have a shared interest in PTSD research and treatments. Working in Mental Health Care I also have a keen interest in medical advancement and research. Joules.
From How and why we got involved with Yarn. by Wounded Project

Our workshop participants, Mark and Julie, created three Yarn stories in response to the Science Museum's exhibition 'Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care', our programme of workshops and a follow-up visit to the Thackray Medical Museum's 'Recovery' gallery.

- To begin with, they wanted to share some information about who they were and their motivations for getting involved with the project. Initially, J wanted to share a personal story but this proved problematic for her. Both M&J have I strong connection to the subject matter and expertise in specific areas, which they are keen to share.

- They also highlight some of the problems of recruitment/engagement based on their own attempts to get other people involved. Engaging in this way required commitment.

- This first story also demonstrates how the project and this type of engagement activity generated a level of expectation about reciprocal exchange.


Initially over 20 people expressed an interest in the project and 5 agreed to attend the first meeting, on the night only 3 people actually appeared in person which was both disappointing and frustrating. Jamie and Rosie were very warm and welcoming and gave us a brief overview of the project and an introduction to Yarn which we were able to explore on the night as they provided laptops. Opening a Yarn account was a simple process and we were away, since then we have worked individually and collaboratively on stories which has been remarkably easy, there were a few hiccups but they were easily sorted and for anyone who is computer literate using this tool would not be an issue. Reading stories published by other users has been really interesting and being able to link to them was advantageous.
From How and why we got involved with Yarn. by Wounded Project

We were happy to attend a further workshop at the Science Museum to which representatives from other museums were invited. Dr Jamie Stark gave a welcome and introduction - Digital Tools and Difficult Heritage, he gave an overview of Yarn and his vision of it's future use which was well received by the audience. He was followed by Lorraine Ward from the Science Museum who gave us the background and thinking behind their exhibition Wounded: Conflict , Casualties and Care, which gave us answers to some of our earlier questions and a unique insight into how museums develop ideas into reality. After this we had a chance to talk about our involvement with Yarn, how we had used it and gave our comparison of the impact both exhibitions had on us. We were then able to view the Wounded gallery again with further input from Lorraine, several members of the group commented how different it was to view it through our eyes and not from a museum based perspective. After lunch Lauren Ryall-Stockton from the Thackray Medical Museum and Rosie Wilkinson talked about another thread - Having a Baby: Yarn and Local Community Engagement, which involved Afghan women living in Leeds and also a project with the National Holocaust Centre, stories from both have been published on Yarn. An interesting and varied discussion followed and hopefully the participants can add their own notes to this story as we would very much like to hear the thoughts of others. Jamie summed up and concluded the workshop which had a really positive vibe throughout and we have enjoyed being a part of the project, we have promised to visit some of the other participating museums and if we can help in any way going forward please get in touch.
From How and why we got involved with Yarn. by Wounded Project

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Although the two exhibits have a narrative exploring the history of military medicine through a hundred years of war, the Wounded exhibition clearly showcases medical artefacts from the museum’s collection. Recovery has less historical items featured but the items on display are alongside their modern counterparts providing a direct comparison and creating a greater visual impact. The use of more video and the additional information on the walls not only expanded knowledge but also humanised what is an ongoing social story.
From What is in a name? Perceptions of an exhibition from its chosen title. by Wounded Project

- Their second story 'What is in a name? Perceptions of an exhibition from its chosen title' is, effectively, a form of feedback on the exhibition.
- Beforehand, we discussed several approaches that they might like to take with their Yarn stories, such as re-curating a selection of exhibits (using our own photos or ones from the ScM website) or exploring a personal interest or story relating to a specific exhibit.

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Visits to ‘Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care’ at the Science Museum and ‘Recovery? From Flanders to Afghanistan’ at the Thackray Medical Museum both culminated in a display which started with Shell Shock during the 1st World War and terminated with poignant video diaries of personal stories related to PTSD recorded by veterans of our armed services. To the viewing public these can appear to be nothing more than documentaries of tragic events, but to those who experienced similar events, words and images can induce flashbacks, nightmares and other horrific symptoms. It can also affect those with transferred Military PTSD and associated forms which they developed as a consequence of an attachment to the Armed Forces such as family and friends who have undergone trauma and abuse as the result of a third parties service. I would have liked to see an element of signposting at each exhibition which would have directed individuals who are affected by the content towards the relevant help, at the moment that doesn't exist and if you were simply looking at a case of items from 100 years ago it probably wouldn't be needed.
From The social responsibility of creating history. by Wounded Project

The third story reflects on the project as a whole and draws out a key message which the participants would like to see museums embrace in their engagement activities (digital or otherwise).

- Audiences bring their own agendas to co-production processes. Should museums be afraid of this?
- Co-production processes necessarily acknowledge that audiences have something to offer. They also raise expectations of a response
- To be effective, both parties have to be involved in the digital co-production process; otherwise the feedback loop remains broken. This inevitably requires some kind of time commitment, as with any other process.


Yarn has the capacity to become a unique resource, not only displaying history but also recording the 'now' for future generations. As it builds and moves forward it needs to provide relevant links to help and support but also a reporting tool for offensive articles to be notified to. Stringent ethical guidelines are needed to govern content allowing a balance of free speech and restrict the promotion of unhelpful opinion.
From The social responsibility of creating history. by Wounded Project

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