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Read, Watch and Listen

Slave Labour

Slave Labour - This Bansky piece was placed on the side of a Poundland store in Wood Green, London in May 2012. It was created by the artist in protest against the use of sweatshops to create Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics memorabilia in 2012. It features a child crouching on the ground, sewing together bunting with the Union Jack. It has become an iconic image of child labour and child slavery. 

Artist: Banksy.

Country: United Kingdom.

Rights Image courtesy of DeptfordJon.

Find out more by visiting http://rightsandjustice.nottingham.ac.uk/items/show/131.

Child Labour Free Street Art

Child Labour Free Street Art - This mural was completed as part of the Shoreditch Art Wall and supported the launch of the UK branch of the organisation, Child Labour Free. It was revealed on the World Day Against Child Labour on 12th June 2016 alongside the sale of limited edition t-shirts with the designs of the mural. The proceeds of this went to the development of the Child Labour Free child care centre, which helps children in red light districts in Kolkata, India.

Artist: Victoria Villasana and Zabou.

Country: United Kingdom.

Rights: Image courtesy of Maureen Barlin and Shoreditch Street Art Tours.

Find out more by visiting http://rightsandjustice.nottingham.ac.uk/items/show/91.


Release - This mural is part of the ‘Handle with Care Project’, a Dallas-based organisation that is dedicated to fighting slavery through the arts.  'Release' is the central piece in a city-wide mural project 'Deface a Wall Not a Body'. The birds that are released in this mural are then painted all around Dallas. The birds symbolise survivors being released from captivity and rebuilding their lives over time.

Artist: James Bullough.

Country: USA.

Rights: Image courtesy of James Bullough.

Find out more by visiting http://rightsandjustice.nottingham.ac.uk/items/show/93.

#Bring Back Our Girls

#Bring Back Our Girls - The piece supports the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, which raised awareness of the kidnap of 276 Chibok girls in Nigeria on 14th April 2014. Many of these girls were sexual exploited and forced into marriage. This mural shows the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, who campaigns for girls to have access to education and supports the campaign and called for the Nigerian government to do more to save these girls.

As of 2018, of the kidnapped 57 girls managed to escape, 107 were released, and 112 are still missing. The campaign is demanding that the Nigerian government rescue the remaining girls and reunite them with their families.

Artist: Zimmer.

Country: USA.

Rights: Image courtesy of Urban75.

Find out more by visiting http://rightsandjustice.nottingham.ac.uk/items/show/208.


Indiria - This mural tells the story of a seven-year-old girl who is enslaved and works in a granite quarry near Katmandu, Nepal, the granite is sent to Britain to provide stone tiles for patios. Indira and the other children working at the quarry are forced to perform dangerous jobs with little or no safety gear. If they refuse, their employer withholds food from their family.

Artist: Lmnopi.

Country: USA.

Rights: Image courtesy of Lmnopi.

Find out more by visiting http://rightsandjustice.nottingham.ac.uk/items/show/90.

Welfare, Training and Governance

Following a 1997 tent fire in Saudi Arabia which killed over 300 Hajjis, the UK's first pilgrim welfare organisation was founded in Birmingham. The Association of British Hujjaj (ABH) lobbies government to support UK citizens visiting Makkah. It also educates intending pilgrims about health and safety. At a 2014 event in Birmingham, speeches were delivered in English and Urdu by medics, Islamic scholars and civic dignitaries. Trading Standards in the city has been especially proactive in tackling ‘Hajj fraud’.

© Seán McLoughlin, 2014. Creative Commons licence - “CC-BY”

Anindya Raychaudhuri, University of St Andrews

Anindya Raychaudhuri is working on the way nostalgia is used by diasporic communities to create imaginary and real homes. He has written about the Spanish Civil War and the India/Pakistan partition and the cultural legacies of these wars. He co-hosts a podcast show, State of the Theory, and explores the issues raised by his research in stand-up comedy.

Christopher Kissane, London School of Economics

Christopher Kissane is a historian working on the role of food in history exploring what we can learn about societies and cultures through studying their diets, including what aubergines tell us about the changing tastes in food consumption. His book, which will be published later this year, examines food’s relationship with major issues of early modern society including the Spanish Inquisition and witchcraft.

Edmund Richardson, University of Durham

Edmund Richardson is working on a book about the lost cities of Alexander the Great and the history of their discovery by adventurers and tricksters rather than scholars. His first book was on Victorian Britain and the ‘lowlife’ lived by magicians, con-men and deserters. His latest project is on Victorian ghost-hunters and their obsession with the ancient world which led Houdini to fight against the con-artists making a fortune from fake ‘spirits’.

Katherine Cooper, University of Newcastle

Katherine Cooper is working on a project exploring the ways in which British writers including H.G.Wells, Graham Greene and Margaret Storm Jameson helped in the escape of fellow writers facing prosecution and imprisonment under fascist governments in the period between WW1 and WW2.

Leah Broad, University of Oxford

Leah Broad’s research is on Nordic modernism, exploring the music written for the theatre at the turn of the 20th century, taking her to Finland and Scandinavia to search out scores which have not been heard since the early 1900s. As a journalist Leah won the Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism in 2015. She is the founder of The Oxford Culture Review, a website communicating arts and humanities research and arts reviews.

Louisa Uchum Egbunike, Manchester Metropolitan

Louisa Uchum Egbunike’s research centres on African literature in which she specialises in Igbo (Nigerian) fiction and culture. Her latest work explores the child’s voice in contemporary fiction on Biafra. She co-convenes an annual Igbo conference at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) and delivers a workshop, ‘Rewriting Africa’ in secondary schools across London. She is curating a ‘Remembering Biafra’ exhibition to open in 2018.

Sarah Jackson, Nottingham Trent University

Sarah Jackson’s current research explores the relationship between the telephone and literature from the work of Arthur Conan Doyle to that of Haruki Murakami and why Sigmund Freud detested the telephone. The project involves research at the BT Archives which hold the public records of the world’s oldest communications company. She is also a poet whose collection Pelt won the prestigious Seamus Heaney Prize in 2012. She reads her poetry and fiction across the UK and USA.

Sean Williams, University of Sheffield

Sean Williams is currently writing a cultural history of the hairdresser from the 18th century to the present day exploring their role as ‘outsiders’ in society. As a lecturer at the University of Berne in Switzerland he taught German and Comparative Literature and wrote articles on flatulence in the 18th century and contemporary satires of Hitler.

Seb Falk, University of Cambridge

Seb Falk is a medieval historian and historian of science whose research centres on the scientific instruments made and used by monks, scholars and nobles in the later Middle Ages. His research has led him to make wood and brass models of the instruments he studies including the ‘equatorium’ and what it tells us about early scientific instruments. His new project will be an investigation of the sciences practised by medieval monks and nuns.

Mrs Everywoman's "Passport to Freedom"

Fanfare campaign announcing validation for the American brand ‘C-Quens 21’ in British trials. The modern British wife might now expect “freedom to plan her family as she chooses” but also “a very low incidence of depression and loss of libido”. 1969. Physician's circulars / Eli Lilly & Company, 'C-Quens'. With the kind cooperation of Eli Lilly. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

The Home Front 1

TASS Window 1115: 'A Sacred Duty', 22 December 1944. The leading Window for the Home Front theme on the website, this poster proclaims its message in the title.  The cavalry's ‘sacred duty’  is not so much a religious mission as an obligation to liberate fellow Russians and the common homeland. The poster combines traditional military equine painting with an all but cartoon approach to the rescued citizens, bottom right.

The Home Front 2

TASS Window 1039 'Fruit and Veg to the Front', 29 August 1944. This near idyllic scene was meant to encourage food production for the front line. It urges Russians at home to send their best produce for the 'soldier -heroes'. The image is sugary, backed up by the choice of  pastel colours, and reminiscent of 1930s painting in the name of socialist realism. It also implies the tough role taken on by women in the war effort. The orderly fields in the background reassuringly suggest that all is well on the collective farms despite the war devastation elsewhere.

The Home Front 3

TASS Window 1197, 'The Carpathian Mountains', 29 April 1945. Using the skills of landscape painting, this poster draws in the spectator to follow the heroic trek of the Red Army across the Carpathian Mountains in the winter of 1944-45. Their task was to confront the enemy forces by whatever means and continue to drive them out of Russia. The Carpathians may provide a barrier but nothing was insuperable to the Red Army. The verse recalls that Suvorov, a  famous general  under Catherine the Great and her son Paul, had not been daunted either by this epic crossing. As a barrier, the mountains also protect, and they remind Russian spectators of the beauty of their homeland.

The Home Front 4

TASS Window 934, 'Sister-Nurse', 12 March 1944. Among the most obviously religious images in the Windows, this poster brings to the onlooker the tender compassion of an icon of Mary and her son as she receives him from the cross ( a piéta). The  grey-blue colours  reflect the war content  but do not deny the religious source entirely, while the words speak of her blue eyes. This window celebrates another role of women in the war. They were not able to fight in the front line but provided many of the back-up services, particularly to the wounded. Russian losses in WWII ran into millions.

The Enemy 1

TASS WINDOW 1132, 'Force of Habit', 8 Jan 1945.When targeting the enemy,  the Windows change to satire. Almost always with a comic edge, but also hard-hitting and Russian morale-raising, the images  demonise the enemy and cut them down to size. This 'typical' German soldier is a  shabby looter returning home to be adored by his besotted parents.  His  sharp teeth echo his hobnail boots and signify his animal savagery. In the verse he is mocked for his Führer-like behaviour.

The Enemy 2

TASS WINDOW 985, 'The Hour Approaches', 26 May 1944. There are many caricatures of Hitler in the posters: he is animalised ( here he is octopus-like with animal claws), he is tortured, on the run, never in control. In this Window, he is viciously impaled, mimicking his own swastika insignia. The colours are designed to attract the eye, and the verse underlines his inability to escape his coming doom.

The Enemy 3

TASS WINDOW 1001, 'The Liberation of Rome', 21 June 1944. Catching the enemy without their trousers on really cuts them down to size. Beneath a miraculously blue Italian sky and  a toothy, grinning sun, Hitler and Mussolini hurtle down the stairs of a grand monument to flee the liberating forces. A sight for sore eyes indeed, and the verse sardonically comments that Rome is now finished and all roads lead to Berlin.

The Enemy 4

TASS WINDOW 1027, 'Two Vessels', 24 July 1944. This Window celebrates the retaking of Minsk in July 1944 from the Enemy occupying forces. The victory lends power to the Soviet rifle butt mercilessly pounding soldier prisoners in an army helmet.  Bathos takes over from satire: an empty vessel now, Hitler remains in Berlin, alone with the hungry, scavenging mice. Two or more images with a narrative link are seen a number of times in the Windows. Such  a format derives from the Civil War ROSTA posters developed, among others, by Maiakovskii as graphic artist and poet in Petrograd.

The Story 1

TASS WINDOW 1027, 'Two Vessels', 24 July 1944. This Window celebrates the retaking of Minsk in July 1944 from the Enemy occupying forces. The victory lends power to the Soviet rifle butt mercilessly pounding soldier prisoners in an army helmet.  Bathos takes over from satire: an empty vessel now, Hitler remains in Berlin, alone with the hungry, scavenging mice. Two or more images with a narrative link are seen a number of times in the Windows. Such  a format derives from the Civil War ROSTA posters developed, among others, by Maiakovskii as graphic artist and poet in Petrograd.

The Story 2

TASS WINDOW 817, 'The Devil Take My Cart',"5 September, 1943. Horses figure in different guises in the Windows; here the enemy horse is a skeleton and his cart is on the point of collapse. The dimensions of this Window are small, only 20cm x 22cm, and the technique is different, more akin to silk screen printing. It may be that this is a small size Window made for distribution by hand, especially to soldiers at the front. The horse played a substantial role in both the Russian and German war machines. Many millions of horses perished.

The Story 3

Vivian de De Sola Pinto  1895-1969. Pinto was Professor of English at the University of Nottingham, 1938-1961. He  also had an interest in languages and other cultures, including Russian. He volunteered for war service. Nothing is certain, but he appears to have been involved in secret and/or diplomatic missions, during which he acquired, or he may have been presented with, his collection of Windows and printed posters. On his death in 1969 Pinto left his collection to the University of Nottingham  along with his library. The Windows were folded and becoming fragile, and their true significance as war art was only gradually realised. 

The Story 4

TASS Window 1211, 'We'll destroy the hydra!', 5 May 1945. Created on the brink of victory, the image shows the destruction of the enemy in the form of a mythical monster, the many-headed hydra. This window formed the poster for the 2008-09 exhibition at the University of Nottingham. It was a turning point for the war posters collection. The Windows were too large and fragile to be publicly shown, so the items which were to be exhibited were conserved and digitised. This decision made the  development of the current, new website possible. Currently 47 posters and prints from a total of 166 are now digitally available

Conservation 2

Specialist repairs have to be done, including the infilling of holes, and replacing glue where the original squares have worked loose. The large size of the posters (some are 2 m x 1.5 m) makes display difficult, and any  handling has to be kept to a minimum to avoid further damage


Image showing photographer at work. Before the digitisation process can begin, a Window has to be photographed, no easy matter with fragile artefacts of this size. Then work is undertaken on a computer to produce the required digitisation. Virtual repairs to the posters can take place at this stage. However, after much discussion it was agreed that the digitisation should reflect the actual present state of the posters, rather than enhance their colours or condition.

Team Work

TASS WINDOW 903, 'Two Faces', 12 February 1944. This project depended on a skilled, interdisciplinary team of web technologists, a conservator, a photographer/ digitiser, archivists, and academic researchers. Sometimes, different members were at odds over strategy towards these marvellous artefacts. However, consensus was always eventually reached. This Window captured Russian feelings towards Finland. Striving to become independent of USSR, Finland joined with the Germans, showing them a conciliatory lamb-like face, and baring her teeth towards Russia.

The team liked the implied humour and  the loggerheaded state in this poster. The image became an ironic metaphor for the immense collaborative work towards this first stage of the windowsonwar resource, launched in March 2013.   Discussion, conservation, digitisation and research go on.....

© University of Nottingham

Austria - Vienna

Vienna. XXth International Conference of the Red Cross. Vote during the last plenary session. From 27 September to 9 October 1965.

1965-10 © Fédération / SCHIKOLA, Gustav

South Africa

The Boer War 1899-1902. Group Portrait.

© ICRC archives (ARR)

Spain - Barcelona

Spanish civil war, 1936-1939. Barcelona. People queuing in front of the delegation to fill in requests.


Spain - Madrid

Spanish civil war, 1936-1939. Madrid. The Red Cross Central Hospital.

1937 © CR Espagne

Nigeria - Udo

Biafra conflict. Udo, Swedish Red Cross distribution center. Before a food distribution.


Afghanistan - Khyber Pass

Khyber Pass. Convoy of the ICRC from Peshawar to Jalalabad. Convoy of 22 trucks carrying 14 tons of flour each.

1994-05-19 © ICRC / GASSMANN, Thierry

Somalia - Mogadishu

Mogadishu. Internally displaced persons receive food from the ICRC in a joint operation with the Somali Red Crescent.

ICRC website, Operational Update, 31/08/2012

Somalis have continued to suffer the consequences of major food insecurity and conflict over the first half of 2012. Despite the difficult situation, the ICRC has delivered food to 1.4 million people in the country since the beginning of the year.

2012-07 © ICRC / WARSAME, Omar B.

Somalia - Bossasso prison

Bossasso prison. An ICRC delegate is conducting an interview without witness with a detainee.

These interviews allow the ICRC to assess the detention conditions. The ICRC has visited places of detention in Somalia since 2012.

2014-11-05 © ICRC / YAZDI, Pedram

Somalia - Mogadishu

Mogadishu. Internally displaced persons camp. 800,000 people - refugees and displaced persons - are living in huts and ruined buildings in the capital.

2006-12-03 © ICRC / SCHAEFFER, Benoît


James Nachtwey photographed detainees held by the Afghan authorities like the man in this photo. Sasha, an ICRC interpreter based in Kabul, accompanied him. Afterwards, Sasha spoke of what he had learnt:

"I discovered that many of them had held on to their sense of themselves, that they had emerged intact from some very difficult situations. Sometimes, I ask myself: 'In a situation like theirs, would I have done as well?' How they managed to preserve their dignity: this is the astonishing thing for me."

2009-03, © ICRC/VII / NACHTWEY, James

Fundamental Principles

Fundamental principles of the Red Cross adopted unanimously by the XXth international conference of the Red Cross in Vienna, October 1965.

1965-10 © ICRC archives (ARR)

Afghanistan - Kabul

Kabul. Women and children attending a course on mine awareness.

ICRC provides local mine safety training classes in schools, clinics and mosques throughout Afghanistan. The training courses are provided for men, women and children alike so that Afghans have a clear knowledge of what to avoid in the field.

2006-09-11 © ICRC / AHAD, Zalmaï

The Yup'ik Homeland from the Air

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is low-laying braided river system, and has supported the Yup'ik people and their ancestors for millennia. This landscape is dependent on permafrost for its stability, and its topography renders this region highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly coastal erosion and flooding. The Western Rim of Arctic North America has been called the 'miner's canary of climate change'.

© This image is credited to Rick Knecht, and is made available under Creative Commons BY

A New Day in Quinhagak

The village of Quinhagak lies close to the Bering Sea coast in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The village is home to around 700 people, and is 60 miles from the nearest other village and only accessible by light aircraft.

© This image is credited to Kate Britton, and is made available under Creative Commons BY