The War That Changed the World

This major British Council and BBC partnership launched in Sarajevo in June 2014, the week of the centenary of Archduke Franz Ferdinandís assassination, and concluded a year later with the broadcast of the Washington debate.

British Council teams in Bosnia, Germany, the UK, Turkey, Russia, India, France, Tanzania, Australia, Jordan and the USA have worked on this ambitious and exciting project to debate the impact and legacy of the First World War.

Events have taken place in some of the worldís great venues including the Hermitage, the Imperial War Museum, the Library of Congress, and Hotel des Invalides.  Each event has focused on a major theme, with a panel of experts and original specially commissioned essay.  

We have explored Nationalism in Bosnia, Morality in Germany, Psychology in the UK, Nation-building in Turkey, Revolution in Russia, Imperialism in India, Heroism in France, Race and Colonial War in Tanzania, The Legend of Anzac in Australia, Redrawing the map of the Middle East in Jordan, and concluding with Isolationism in the USA.  

Cultural figures in every country have written original and thought-provoking essays exploring their view of the warís impact in their region.

  • Haris Pasovic, Divine Uncertainty and the Fall of Nationalism
  • Herlinde Koelbl, Black, White, Grey
  • Joanna Bourke, Shellshock and the shock of shells
  • Elif Shafak, Stories of Memory and Forgetting: Turkey and the First World War
  • Tatyana Tolstaya, White Flowers
  • Shashi Tharoor, Parting Words
  • Christian Carion, Everymanís Land
  • Oswald Masebo, Ubhuche: invisible histories and creative adaptations of the First World War
  • Wesley Enoch, Stories that bind
  • Lina Attel, JordanÖ Country of Nationalists
  • David Frum, Safe for Democracy

The entire World Service series, The War That Changed the World, is available online.

You can listen to the essays on World War One Round the World on BBC Radio 3.