LSE Gives Peace a Chance

Peace in the 20th Century

The LSE Library and the Women’s Library bring LSE students and staff another exhibition in 2019 called ‘Giving Peace a Chance’. It explores the history of peace activism ‘from the League of Nations to Greenham Common’.

This term, Giving Peace a Chance includes archives which aim to answer the question – how was world peace sought in the 20th century?

The exhibition is in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the League of Nations. Students can explore documents describing the functions of the League of Nations; the story of the founding of the UN and the highlights of the life of Pat Arrowsmith, a prominent 20th century peace activist and co-founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

The exhibition focuses on the role of women in the history of peace. It highlights characters who do not often appear in most history books. Large projections show the images of important figures and resolutions passed during the 1919 International Congress of Women in Zurich. Visitors can also have access to material from the 1980s Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

At the end of the exhibition a large panel urges students to answer the question: why is war still happening? The responses written on post-its vary from strong one-word answers to humorous comments to thoughtful lists of factors such as: selfishness, miscommunication and greed, as well as the names of some figures and politicians who those students believe are to blame.

For most days this week, attendance to the exhibition has been very low, especially among students, who often walk into the room to wait for a friend but most times fail to look around. The opportunity to take a short break from studying in the library and explore what the exhibition has to offer will remain until April.


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