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The Home Front

posted on 2023-06-08, 14:38 authored by Melanie Friend, Pippa Oldfield, Hilary Roberts
Air shows are a fun day out for the family. On the ground, tank rides are on offer and armed forces' recruitment drives afford children an opportunity to indulge in their fascination with guns. There are elements of fantasy and the carnivalesque here and a clear disconnect between this 'play' and the actual effect of weapons. In Friend's photographs the beach and the landscape become uneasy, surreal spaces, temporarily militarized by the fleeting presence and roar of fighter jets. She places us at the edge of the island state where the sight and sounds of these aerial displays remind us of Winston Churchill's World War II speech, "We shall fight on the beaches". Civilian aircraft displays are interwoven with military ones, whilst nostalgia for World War II is evoked by the presence of 'war birds' such as the Lancaster bomber, only to be followed by the 'shock and awe' displays of contemporary fighter jets such as the Tornado, recently deployed in Libya and Afghanistan. By contrast, the trade days of the larger air shows such as Farnborough promote military hardware in a more direct way, while deals are negotiated behind the closed doors of the hospitality chalets.


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  • Published


Dewi Lewis Publishing



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  • Media and Film Publications

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  • Yes

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