War And Peace

by Anjum Peerbacos


'War & Peace'; BBC Drama aired 2016. Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_%26_Peace_(2016_TV_series)
‘War & Peace’; BBC Drama aired 2016. Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_%26_Peace_(2016_TV_series)

Nothing I like more than a period drama especially one that is steeped in history and facts and eras. Great! If you loved Downton then ‘War and Peace’ has nicely fills that Sunday evening void. The BBC knows exactly what it is doing – plugging a gap.

Of course it’s based during the time of the Napoleonic wars, and of course with that comes all the bloodiness of war, which was particularly apparent during certain episodes. I did have to turn away at the point Anatole was having his leg brutally chopped, hacked- away -at, because it was incredibly lifelike realistic and extremely gory.

And then the vast landscape that was littered with corpses; bodies all left for dead.

The irony is of course that the brutality and underlying hostility and animosity that comes with war still exists today. 250 years later it doesn’t seem to have changed much. As a race, the human race we’ve not moved on at all.

Syrian Refugee Children
Syrian Refugee Children

What’s amazing about a period drama like ‘War and Peace’ is that you build up an affinity with these characters, with their feelings, their emotions and experiences? You feel what they feel and experience; however why is this not the case for the people that we are currently bombing in Syria?

Peoples’ homes are destroyed, they lose family and loved ones. And soldiers that have been lost in battles and in wars over the ages, they all had mothers they all had family ties and connections. They had feelings and emotions and experiences. Do we not feel towards them as we do towards the characters on our screens; is it because they’re far away that we don’t feel for them? Because there isn’t a close-up shots of their face as a loved one departs?

I don’t know if in conclusion I can say honestly as a human race we have really moved on. Have we made progress if people are still dying? If people are still being killed and persecuted and annihilated, and we don’t feel what they feel, we don’t experience what they experience. How can we say we have progressed? How can we say we are a civilised society?

Is it because we managed to dehumanise the other?  They ‘bunch’, the ‘swarm’? Is it because it doesn’t happen right in front of us ? Is it because we don’t make eye contact as we kill them anymore.

We just fight now because we’re not killing people and we like to think we are not killing people. We say we’re using drones, we don’t even have to see the end result. We just have to know where they are. Does that make it okay?


Anjum Perrbacos is a mother writer living, teaching and learning, in 21st century London. Of Asian origin (beige- ish), wearing a hijab – not a terrorist! A Londoner through and through and proud to be so. Currently Vice Chair of local Constituency Labour Party. Promoting Political engagement within diverse communities. You can follow her on Twitter @Mammaanji or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IAmLondonToo/
Image credits: ‘War and Peace’ courtesy of Wikipedia; Syrian refugee children courtesy of IHH on Flickr 
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

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  1. Great Post.

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