Film: Living with Violence at the End of the British Empire

Age of Emergency

By Erik Linstrum, published 26th July 2023

Virtual Branch Film

In the 1950s, Britain fought a series of brutal wars against insurgents in the colonies of Malaya, Kenya, and Cyprus. How did people at home experience these wars? How did they learn about the use of torture and other unsettling tactics? And how did they respond to this knowledge?

In this Virtual Branch lecture recording, Historian Erik Linstrum traces reports of colonial violence from conflict zones to the home front through diaries and letters, speeches and sermons, novels and television dramas. While awareness of atrocity in the colonies was widespread, so were strategies for downplaying, justifying, and failing to act against it. 

Erik Linstrum is Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

This recording was taken on 28th June 2023.

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