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Articles on Anzac

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Australian soldiers in the trenches at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in 1915. State Library of Victoria/Wikimedia Commons

The Anzac legend has blinded Australia to its war atrocities. It’s time for a reckoning

When the honour of Australia’s revered soldiers is questioned, so, too, is the national self-image. But war is an ugly business, and we pay a price for tethering it so tightly to our identity.
Descendants of soldiers who fought in the Australian Light Horse Brigade took part in a reenactment to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beersheba in Israel in October 2017. Dan Peled/AAP

Telling the forgotten stories of Indigenous servicemen in the first world war

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Anzac stories are often coloured by racism and ongoing injustices that negate the myth of Anzac 'mateship'.
This large ‘Do Not Forget Australia’ sign in a yard at the Victoria school in Villers-Bretonneux, is the heir of smaller signs once placed in classrooms by Australian authorities. Author provided

Friday essay: do ‘the French’ care about Anzac?

Since the end of the first world war, the Australian media has often reported that ‘the French’ care about, remember and even venerate the Anzacs. But is this true? And which French people?
Part of a black cotton cushion cover depicting the Australian coat of arms embroidered by Lance Corporal Alfred Briggs (Albert Biggs), 20 Battalion, AIF. Courtesy of Australian War Memorial

Stitching lives back together: men’s rehabilitation embroidery in WWI

Embroidery - often seen as women's work - was a common form of therapy for troops wounded in the first world war. One soldier, Albert Biggs, learned to sew with his left hand after his right arm was badly injured.
The internet offers a chance to personalise our commemoration by choosing when, where and how we take part. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

This Remembrance Day, digital commemoration makes it impossible to forget

The internet and social media are changing how we commemorate war. The hashtag #LestWeForget will be shared millions of times on Remembrance Day in tweets and Facebook comments.
The Lost Battalion, 2015. Acrylic, soil, charcoal and shellac on paper. Lev Vykopal. Fremantle Arts Centre

Lev Vykopal’s Gallipoli balances history against the legends

Tackling Gallipoli is an onerous challenge: it carries baggage that must be accommodated or unpacked with extreme care. Western Australian artist Lev Vykopal’s two exhibitions offer a mix of reverence, analysis, critique and poetry.
Australian newspaper photographers have always been forbidden to show military failure or fragility. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

We censor war photography in Australia – more’s the pity

Although more than 100,000 Australians have lost their lives as a result of war service, photographs of our dead have never been published in newspapers.Perhaps we should reconsider this.
‘Let me try and put sacked SBS sports journalist Scott McIntyre’s tweets in historical perspective.’ EPA/Sedat Suna

Anzacs behaving badly: Scott McIntyre and contested history

It is naïve to expect men to kill and die for their country, to live through the horrors of a particularly barbaric war, and to come out the other end unscathed – despite our popular myths.

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