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100 years ago, during the Great War, the arrival of Christmas saw a sudden and unlikely ceasefire during which enemy troops set aside their differences and celebrated together. Spurred on first by the Germans, who began to sing carols and position Christmas trees at the top of their trenches, troops from the nations on both sides of the conflict formed an unofficial truce: ‘You not shoot, we not shoot.’
German, British, French and Belgian soldiers came together in No Man’s Land and, at various places along the front line, exchanged gifts and greetings, sand carols and – most famously – played a football match was even played near Messines. The troops swapped cigarettes, shared food, and imbibed booze together in a rare display of festive cheer overcoming politics.
This is being commemorated until 22 December 2014 through a series of events in Shoreditch. As an extra special addition to these events, Visit Flanders has commissioned an exciting graffiti mural to commemorate this coming together of enemies for mutual joviality: The Shoreditch Art Wall. Working in their own unique styles, artists Zadok (UK), Ninth Seal (UK) and Sokar Uno (Germany) have created the powerful contemporary artwork to recapture the spirit of that curious but inspiring show of seasonal unity.
Found in the heart of East London on Great Eastern Street, three artists (two from the UK and one from Germany) depict this momentous event. The mural is available to view until Boxing Day, 26th December 2014.
A similar commission has also been created in Berlin, where a huge canvas artwork by Alaniz, Addison Karl and Wesr is on display to the public at Potsdamer Platz (Berlin). After the exhibition ends, this unique art work will be exhibited at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Berlin).
For more information, visit the website for Visit Flanders.