From the Shadows of War and Empire: Perspectives of Colonised Peoples on World War One

Unique exhibition taking a Black perspective on World War One and the role of the British colonies within it.

 Starting Friday 25 June – Sunday 17 July 2016 (10am-5pm)

People’s History Museum, Manchester


Did you know that the first and last shots of World War One were fired not in Europe, but in Africa [1]?

Or that 1.5 million soldiers from India fought for the British?


grunshi_1 [450873]2014 marked 100 years since the start of the World War One (WW1) [2].  In a very real way, this was the first global conflict, with war between the European Empires drawing in well over 100 countries.

Southern Voices has created an exhibition, From the Shadows of War and Empire, at the People’s History Museum (Manchester), and will be open to the public from 25th June 2016 – 17th July 2016 (10am-5pm).

The project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund [3], examines the involvement of the British colonies (India, West Indies, Nigeria and East Africa) in WW1 and the impact the war had on those countries.  We look at European imperialism, the devastating losses on the colonies’ own ‘home fronts’ and subsequent strengthening movements for self-rule and independence.

The impact and views of the people in the ‘colonised countries’ are either neglected or absent in commemorative events, and we look to provide a more balanced account of this global war than is commonly available or known.

“It’s absolutely brilliant Southern Voices are contributing towards the building of a much needed hub of critical community learning that helps to re-balance the dominant historical narrative, where the contributions made by peoples of colour have been wilfully omitted.”

Dr Ornette D Clennon, Academic Lead for the Critical Race and Ethnicity Research Cluster, The Research Centre for Social Change and Community Wellbeing, Manchester Metropolitan University


“As far as possible, we’ve tried to let the facts and the people tell their story. It’s surprising how different World War One looks through another perspective.”

Deyika Nzeribe, Southern Voices Management Committee







To attend the launch event book here –


For further press information and images, please contact:

Kirit Patel, Project Co-ordinator