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About Witnessing Terror
Our latest exhibition focuses on a period of the French Revolution known as the Terror (1792-94) that was characterised by a political culture of violence when public executions were rife.
The prints on display offer visitors a glimpse of the visual material that the French and the rest of Europe were exposed to when events that had no precedent in Europe were unfolding before them at rapid speed in the absence of the 24hr news channels and social media platforms of the 21st century.
From portraits of revolutionary martyrs to dramatic scenes of Parisian crowds, prints provide a unique insight into how people understood life around them. Alongside these, we’ll be showing everyday images and objects such as paper money, passports, maps and placards.
Together, this visual legacy invites reflection on the role images played in how state-sponsored violence came to be perceived by supporters of the revolution as something acceptable and beyond that how we react to acts of political violence.
This exhibition draws on current research at UCL and Queen Mary University.