Presentation: Propaganda and Shifted Reality

A presentation by Steve Lau, Chair of the Ensuring We Remember Campaign, at the launch event of, The Stories behind the Pictures: Colonial Troops in the First World War. This event is being held at

University of Hull,

Friday, 20th October.
An outline of the presentation follows.

By the outbreak of the First World War photography was the hobby of millions around the world. Although the technology had been looked at by the military, its significance was not to be developed fully until the First World War.

This short presentation will give a very brief introduction to the militarisation of photography, In particular it will explore the use of the photographic image as a tool for influencing the opinions of the public at home, as well as the public and governments overseas. This propaganda use of photographs will be brought into sharper focus by comparing and contrasting the official photographic record, as published by the Ministry of Information (1914-1918) with unofficial photographs, most particularly those  by Captain William J Hawkings, of the Chinese Labour Corps (

The presentation shall be drawn to an end with reflections on how, a hundred years on, our use of these photographs have changed? Debunked, what value can we attach to propaganda photographs of the Great War? And if at all, where have we managed to shift reality to?

The event is ticketed but free, tickets available here.

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