The project sits within the key objectives of EU INTERREG IV (a): that is, to reinforce cooperation by fostering partnerships between European neighbours and to achieve improved integration of geographic areas that face common problems but are separated by national borders. The cooperation area (Devon and Picardie) remains marked by the legacy of the 1st World War. The unprecedented facial injuries seen in that conflict also led to the development of radical surgical approaches, leading to a new phase in the history of reconstructive maxillofacial surgery in Britain as well as in France. These unprecedented developments in the medical field also have long-term consequences for our perception and understanding of the face. The new understandings of the face which emanate from WWI feed into our societal approach to facial difference, into our conception of history and into contemporary artistic practice.

Study of the injured, disfigured and repaired face will address the following specific objectives:

  • Develop and utilise the knowledge base concerning the experience of disfigured soldiers during the First World War by means of a transdisciplinary, transnational and transgenerational approach;
  • Assess the long-term cultural and artistic legacy of the gueules cassées and the impact of WWI disfigurement on contemporary representations of the face;
  • Enhance the dissemination of the documentary, artistic, societal and medical material relating to the gueules cassées and their legacy;
  • Promote integration and understanding of the issues linked to perception and disability linked to disfigurement;
  • Design and develop an educational project in order to bring about changes in understanding of facial difference.