Watch now on channel4.com/ww1shorts
When two million newly disabled British ex-servicemen returned from the First World War, society’s attitudes to disability had to change.
In a series of short films produced by Artsadmin and Xenoki, five contemporary disabled artists present unorthodox, irreverent and unexpected takes on the legacies of war and disability in Britain today.
Does it Matter?
Does it matter?—losing your legs?…
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When the others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
Does it matter ?—losing your sight?…
There’s such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.
Do they matter?—those dreams from the pit?…
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won’t say that you’re mad;
For they’ll know you’ve fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit.
Siegfried Sassoon (1917)
Copyright Siegfried Sassoon by kind permission of the Estate of George Sassoon.