Conceived and created by artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, We’re Here Because We’re Here saw participants appear unexpectedly in locations from Shetland to Penzance.
The project, commissioned by 14-18 NOW, enlisted the help of men aged between 16 and 52 from a variety of backgrounds, each a reminder of an individual soldier killed on the first day of the battle and each wearing historically accurate uniforms representing the 15 regiments which suffered losses that day.
The volunteers did not speak, but at points joined together in a rendition of We’re Here Because We’re Here, a song sung in the trenches during the First World War. They handed out cards to members of the public who approached them which detailed the name, regiment and age of the soldier when he died on 1 July 1916.
The work is partly inspired by tales of sightings during and after the First World War by people who believed they had seen a dead loved one.
We’re Here Because We’re Here is one of the largest arts participation projects ever staged in the UK, with hundreds of additional volunteers working behind the scenes. It involved 25 organisations and 1,500 participants who rehearsed in theatres across the country for a month in preparation for the performance.
Jeremy Deller said: "I wanted to make a contemporary memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one that moved around the UK with an unpredictability in which the participants took the work directly to the public.”
Uplifted from the BBC News Website
more information on the project can be found here