Why War?

Things to do

Freud Museum

Until Sun Oct 19

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© Freud Museum

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Vladimir E

As museums throughout the land scramble to dress mannequins in uniforms, what better place to offer an alternative take on the subject of war than the Freud Museum? The displays offer a glimpse into Freud's struggles to find a solution to man's insatiable appetite for violence and destruction. But the exhibition is much more than just 'Freud's War': it opens up a much needed dialogue about why people fight, posing questions rather than offering answers.


The lovingly curated artworks are surprisingly accessible and hugely thought-provoking. Sculptor Jane McAdam Freud’s ‘Middle Eastern Scream’ greets you as you arrive, immediately showing that the subject will not be confined to its usual WWI bubble; this is an exhibition that couldn’t be more relevant to the present. Upstairs, patriotic WWI songs play softly while children’s mobile of colourful toy bombs hangs from the ceiling; nearby, the unmistakeable silhouette of an Abu-Ghraib torture victim looms hauntingly out of a copy of the Geneva convention.


All in all, a fantastically original contribution to the centenary year.