This bilingual exhibition is about the lives of young Australians in France and Belgium during World War I. A century after the arrival of Australian troops on the Western Front in March 1916, this exhibition focuses on the experiences of the soldiers in the periods that they spent away from the front line.

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne
11 March – 26 June 2016

New languages, food and culture challenged and modified the attitudes of the young soldiers, nurses and volunteers, and they returned to Australia with new insights into the people, places and landscapes which they had encountered. Contemporary diaries and letters, photographs and ephemera in the collections of the University of Melbourne Archives provide a wealth of little known details about day-to-day life during this tumultuous time.

Somewhere in France: Australians on the Western Front is part of an innovative project which, since 2012, has been developed by the School of Languages and Linguistics (French Studies) and the University of Melbourne Archives. A series of public programs will accompany the exhibition.

Public Lecture Program

Join us for an inspiring program of public lectures and seminars on the first floor of the Baillieu Library during the exhibition. A range of stimulating speakers including artists, curators and historians will participate.

17 March 2016
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Public lecture
Professor Martin Lyons, Emeritus Professo of History in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales Reading and writing communities in the trenches 1914–1918 (France and Italy)

18 March 2016
9:15am – 12:30pm
Research seminar
Everyday reading and writing during the Great War: écritures ordinaires in extraordinary context

14 April 2016
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Curator’s floor talk
The exhibition curator, Jenny Long, will present a floor talk that engages directly with the themes of the exhibition Somewhere in France: Australians on the Western Front

11 May 2016
9.30am – 12:45pm
The Social and Cultural Experience of World War I

22 June 2016
12.00pm – 12:30pm
Curator’s floor talk
30 Objects in 30 Minutes: Behind the Scenes with the Curator

Noel Shaw Gallery, Level 1, Baillieu Library

In the final week of Somewhere in France: Australians on the Western Front join curator, Jenny Long, as she unveils her favourite objects from the exhibition and unlocks the fascinating stories of some of the University of Melbourne Archives material on display.

Jenny Long is a free-lance curator based in Bendigo and Melbourne.  She is a graduate of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Melbourne and has a long association with the University.  Most recently she has curated The Piranesi Effect 2104 and The Anatomy Lesson 2012 for the Ian Potter Museum of Art.