Veterans of the British Armed Forces will share personal stories of service and life after the military in a special event hosted by the University of Portsmouth on Friday 6 July.
‘Service: In the Words of Military Veterans’ is a research project led by Dr Erika Hughes, a Senior Lecturer in Drama and Performance at the University of Portsmouth, to create a space for veteran-civilian community dialogue.
The unscripted and uncensored 50-minute performance aims to challenge preconceived notions about who serves, and why. It brings together veterans of the British Armed Forces from the University community who have been deployed around the world for an engaging conversation about community, and what it means to serve.
Through a relevant and deeply human dialogue, a panel of will answer questions such as what does it mean to serve your country? What are the challenges that servicemen and women face in their lives as soldiers? And what are the next steps in their lives after the military?
Dr Hughes has led ‘The Veterans Project’ since 2013 through a series of oral history storytelling events and community-building performances with US Army veterans that took place throughout the state of Arizona as well as New York.
Dr Hughes said: “I am currently collaborating with a number of veterans who are also part of the University of Portsmouth community, including Dr Peter Lee and Dr Mick Harper, to create a version of the Veterans Project here in Portsmouth. This project seeks to create a space for veterans to share their stories in a performance setting with their community.”
These veterans-turned-performers, according to Dr Hughes, “represent an incredible range of experiences and political viewpoints, and yet are all willing to share something of themselves with the community in which they live. We’re very grateful for their openness and willingness.”
The free event takes place on at 7.30pm on Friday 6 July in room 1.10 of the University’s Eldon Building 1.10. A wine reception will follow. Places can be booked via Eventbrite.
Watch a previous Veterans Project storytelling event below: