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Godspeed At Gone West's WW1 Commemorations
Patrick Clarke , May 16th, 2017 14:47

Godspeed You! Black Emperor and dEUS' Tom Barman feature among a series of collaborations marking the centenary of the First World War.

GoneWest, an artistic commemoration of the First World War, based in West Flanders, Belgium, will host a series of events to mark the centenary of the events of 1917.

Opening this year's programme will be The Kraterfront, which takes place on 10 June, 100 years since the Battle Of Messines, a British-led offensive on the West Flanders village of the same name.

The event will be hosted in the crater-torn landscape of Heuvelland, with Godspeed You! Black Emperor to provide a live soundscape as a backdrop for contemporary and historical images, integrated into the landscape by artist Shelbatra Jashari.

Envisaged as an ode to how light can give new life to the region's scarred landscape, The Kraterfront event will also incorporate 2100 candles made by West Flemish elementary school children.

The Battle Of Passchendaele, one of the most notorious tragedies of the war in which both the Allies and the Axis suffered 400,000 casualties each over months of fighting, will also be commemorated by GoneWest on 14 October. Celebrated artist Tom Barman, the frontman of Belgian band Deus will has been commissioned to lead a programme for the evening.

The summer of 2018 will also see a number of events organised by GoneWest. A large scale waterfront event to recognise the small coastal towns that were blighted by the war due to their strategic location is planned for 30 June that year. A series of concerts will also take place across the region that summer, concluding with a final climactic performance to take place on 25 August in the town square at Ypres.

In 2014, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten played a special performance as part of the initiative, peforming a piece titled Lament in the town of Diksmuide, where in 1914 the Belgian resitance to the advancing German forces purposely opened the flood gates holding back the Yser river and flooded the area. The city was reduced to rubble by the conflict. You can read our review of the Lament show here.

You can find out more about the GoneWest programme on their website here