In 1917, three years after it began, the war turned into a worldwide conflict. All countries involved did their utmost to defeat or completely destroy the enemy. The boundary between military operations and social life became blurred. Both behind and at the front, all human activities were dominated by the war. Science, technology, industry, economy and society were the gears of a huge, red-hot war machine. The conflict also escalated in Flanders, with the Third Battle of Ypres being the unprecedented crescendo.
One hundred years later, key WWI museums and sites are highlighting the activities of that period as part of the joint 1917 - Total War in Flanders project. With Ypres as the starting point, visitors are invited to travel specially designated routes on foot, by bicycle or car to discover the scars in the landscape, the many memorial places and the various exhibitions and information modules, each one dealing with a different aspect of the Third Battle of Ypres.
Against this background, the In Flanders Fields Museum exhibition provides a survey of 1917, outlining the progress and events during that year of total war, which resulted in countless victims and the complete destruction of the landscape. The war photographer Frank Hurley and his team produced a large number of pictures. An examination is made of the way he tried to document the war landscape and the difficulties he faced. An exploration is also made of the way innovative techniques were used to provide an eloquent interpretation of the war years. Similar photographic techniques are still used today by British photographer Ian Alderman. In the final section of the exhibition he pays a tribute to the activities of the Belgian mine disposal unit DOVO-SEDEE.
See also www.flandersfields.be/en/1917