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Sanguine: The Exhibition

A hundred years ago, on the eighteenth of November 1916, one of the bloodiest battles in history, the Battle of the Somme, came to a bitter end. To commemorate the anniversary, British International School, HCMC produced a whole school exhibition entitled 'Sanguine'. 

  • Sanguine

The word sanguine alludes to the blood-soaked fields at Flanders which claimed the lives of over 1.3million after 141 days of conflict to claim a mere 6 miles of territory. It refers to the scarlet poppy blossoms which dance among the countless white crosses in mute witness on what remains of No Man’s Land to this day. It is the flower which we wear to remember those who gave up their lives for their country.

"Thought it was interesting so we can stop it from happening again’"  (Trinh, Year 5)

Sanguine may also be used to convey a sense of hope and optimism. The purpose of our art exhibition was not only to mark the centenary of this most tragic episode of the Great War but to reflect on the progress made in the history of humanity over the past one hundred years.

“Sanguine really helped me meet other students I hadn't even acknowledged before and to really open my eyes to how different things have evolved over the past 100 years, it was amazing.” (Ana, Year 11)

The exhibition consisted of a series of artistic and interactive displays which traced the significant developments and advancements made in a diverse range of topics over the past century; from nuclear weapons and battlefield tactics, to imperialism and global conflict, from ideologies such as Communism and Nazism, to movements including feminism and the abolition of slavery, from health and medicine, to transportation and fashion, from music and poetry to art and propaganda.

"History repeats itself. We're here to learn about the past, act in the present and shape the future. We're here to not make the bad parts repeat again."  (Angela, Year 9)

‘Sanguine’ sought to capture the true essence of the twentieth century in all corners of the globe, allowing viewers to celebrate past successes and recognise a brighter future than that which existed one hundred years ago on the banks of the Somme.

The work displayed was created by students from both the primary and secondary campuses.  Primary students attended the Secondary assembly to talk about what they had learnt and felt when doing the project. The following day Secondary students talked in Primary assembly.

As well as the temporary exhibition each child in primary made a poppy as mark of remembrance. Over a 1000 poppies were then strung and hung from the 3rd floor as a permanent display as a reminder of the soldiers who died.

“The process was demanding but the end result was worth it all. SANGUINE set out to educate and inform, and it was spectacularly done by all involved.” (Morgan, Year 12)

 "It was fascinating to learn about and it was good to learn about both sides" (Julius, Year 5)

“It was really fun to learn about the Battle of the Somme because I find that time in history interesting.” (Amanda, Year 5)

"It has been such a privilege being able to interview and talk to the people involved in SANGUINE. It allowed me to have a deeper understanding, looking into different perspectives of the world in the past Century." (Marwin, Year 11)

If you would like any further information please contact Chloe Martin (Primary) or Pedro Roman (Secondary)

Sarah Curran, Assistant Head Teacher EYFS

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