Monday, June 16, 2014

Carrier Pigeons and Tweeting: oh, what a digital war!

Cher Ami, an heroic U.S. Army Signal Corps carrier pigeon.
Washington DC: The Smithsonian Museum

Hello, friends.

I have a feeling that our Ghosts of 1914 would not be so taken aback to find that, as we approach the centennial anniversary of the Great War's start, our relationship to the war can now be (and may be primarily) digitally mediated. We've gone from carrier pigeons, like the brave and beautiful Cher Ami, who risked HER life to save hundreds of soldiers (and whom I saw on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History on a recent jaunt to Washington DC),  to Twitter.

The other day, it struck me that this is probably the first war, and certainly the first major global conflict, whose one hundredth anniversary could become so digital. As 1914-1918's digital renaissance takes on further zeroes and ones, it is fitting, I think, to consider the  novel technological ways in which we can invite the Ghosts of 1914 to become part of our lives--our awareness, our everyday existence. 

On that note, the good folks at an exciting multimedia history education project, hstry, have shared with me that they are having a most interesting event later this month: a reenactment of Franz Ferdinand's 1914 assasination on Twitter. Here are the details:

hstry: Franz Ferdinand's Assasination Relived on Twitter!

What's more, hstry's blog will be featuring stories from a journey through WWI family history. Stay tuned for that!

While I'm delighted and intrigued at hstry's Twitter reenactment, don't be surprised to hear more on our avian Ghost of 1914, Cher Ami, quite soon...


© Fiona Robinson

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