THE LOST MEN FRANCE by South African artist Paul Emmanuel was the third phase of an ongoing international public art project engaging concepts of memory and collective grief. Located alongside Thiepval Memorial, near where thousands of South African servicemen died alongside the Allies, it was an intervention in the Somme Circuit of Remembrance.

An anti-monument, it questioned the exclusion of certain people in traditional memorials – in particular black South African servicemen. A three hundred metre road of silk banners bore the names of French, German, South African and Allied servicemen who fell on the Western Front. The names were photographed after being pressed into the artist’s body, without reference to rank, nationality or ethnicity.

These banners were hung in the landscape and left to the wind.
             

© paul emmanuel