REMEMBERING AFGHANISTAN: Reflections of Canadian Soldiers

Westmount, Quebec – 30 August 2019: The Royal Montreal Regiment Museum announced a new exhibition for the 2019 Remembrance period, to run from 25 October to 10 November 2019 at the RMR’s armoury on Sainte-Catherine Street. It will then travel to different schools throughout the province of Quebec in 2020.

Titled “Remembering Afghanistan: Reflections of Canadian Soldiers”, the project is the result of 12 personal testimonies given by RMR members who volunteered to go to Afghanistan and their reflections on the time they spent there and how it has affected them. Using the real experiences of Canadian soldiers as a lens, the exhibition provides a unique look at the multiple ways Canadians participated in the conflict that took place between 2001 and 2014. The exhibition tries to put the modern conflict that took place in Afghanistan into perspective. Without a proper historical distance between us and the events, it is impossible to look at the war in Afghanistan with a critical mind and proper discernment. That is not what the exhibition claims to do. Rather, it attempts to spark a personal reflection in both civilian visitors and military members alike.

The exhibition will be divided into six zones each exploring different angles of the work done in Afghanistan. Being non-linear, the content is through themes, rather than chronologically. The visual content will be printed on a total of 11 self-supporting light panels.

The exhibition will be enhanced with the addition of six tablets on telescopic stands to allow the visitors a glimpse of some of the footage so as to better connect with the interviewees.

The exhibition will be open daily to the public with a priority for school groups during the day, in collaboration with Je Me Souviens, who will also be adapting the content to complement a new educational module being launched at the same time.

KEY MESSAGES:

  • The participation of the Canadian Armed Forces in the conflict in Afghanistan goes beyond what is seen in action movies. Many soldiers worked behind the scenes in non-direct combat roles, either trying to sway the local opinion of the foreign troops or training the Afghan Army and Afghan Police.
  • As reservists, the people displayed in the exhibition all volunteered to go to Afghanistan. Many were sought for the skills and expertise gained within their civilian lives.
  • The key word is “Remembering”. Our understanding of the conflict in Afghanistan and its impacts is still in motion. The place that it will take within the Canadian commemoration of its military achievement is not yet set in stone. What will be remembered of the war in Afghanistan? Was it worth it? These are questions that cannot yet be answered, but it is time that we start thinking about them together.
  • Although it is difficult to understand how the public feels about it, today’s public opinion of Canada’s contribution in Afghanistan seems divided. Some argue that Canada’s participation was senseless while others are proud of what was accomplished by Canadians soldiers during this time.

For more information or to reserve a group visit, please contact info@rmrmuseum.com or 514-496-2003 ext. 2328.

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