Tate Britain Tour

Aftermath Tour: War, Art and the Body

Edward Burra, ‘The Snack Bar’ 1930
Edward Burra, The Snack Bar 1930. Tate. © The estate of Edward Burra, courtesy Lefevre Fine Art, London

Explore the relationship between war experience, art and the body

​Join us for a tour of Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One with First World War literary and cultural historian, Dr Santanu Das.

The First World War ravaged the male body on an unprecedented scale and led to a profound reconfiguration of ideas of intimacy, masculinity and sexuality, both in the trenches and in post-war European society.

How did artists, both male and female, perceive the shattered body and the surrounding landscape – the site at once of memory and mourning – and translate them into forms and colours and textures? What happens to the body of art when it is called upon to bear testimony to historical trauma?

Focussing on the human body in a few select paintings, this tour will seek to open up the sensuous and emotional world of the trenches and hospitals and investigate the aftermath of the war on post-war society – from gender relations to maternal bereavement to social critique – as artists wrestle with visual forms and the weight of memory, on canvas, in print or through stone.


Santanu Das

Educated in Kolkata and Cambridge, Dr Santanu Das is a literary and cultural historian in the department of English, King’s College London. He is the author of the award-winning monograph Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (CUP, 2006); his latest book India, Empire and First World War Culture: Literature, Images and Music is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press later this year. He has written for the Guardian and the Independent and has been involved in a number of centennial commemorative projects on the First World War, from radio and television programmes with the BBC to advising on concerts, exhibitions, and dance-theatre.

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

8 June 2018 at 18.30–20.30