Tweeting through the Blackout
November 9, 2011
Today, anyone with access to a mobile phone or web connection can link instantly to global networks of individuals and communities, bringing the turbulence of civil unrest and horrors of the battlefield into the home or classroom. During WW2 however, communication could be difficult: the plug was pulled on television and regional wireless stations were closed down, but listening to news bulletins became an essential part of most people’s days. Newspapers shrank in size as did magazines, and war news was strictly censored, telephone lines were often put out of action in an air raid and boys on bikes took their lives in their hands to convey vital messages.
So what if people back then had the same power of communication as we do today? Here’s an interesting idea that brings WW2 to Twitter. Four accounts based on four real Londoners gives people the chance to follow their lives, moment by moment in 1943 for three weeks up to Remembrance Day (11.11.11).
Each character, James, William, Kay and Ellie tweet throughout the day, giving a sense of the kinds of experiences that people went through on the Home Front. The Second World War put everyone on the front line. The Home Front was the battlefront too and civilians played a vital part in winning the war.
WW2 seems an abstract and remote notion to most, many of us know the facts and figures but find it difficult to comprehend the realities. This idea is an interesting way to bring out the emotions of WW2 by putting a human voice to everything we learnt in history lessons and make people think differently about WW2 this remembrance day.