Queen and Country

#1
Chaps, I dont know if this has been posted before apologies if it has, I only just received it via email, all you need to do is sign the petition.

Thanks
BRL.

Message Read:
This internet site was sent to me by a friend of Mrs Abby Cornish whose
husband was killed on TELIC 8. I think it's a great idea, but in order to make it happen it needs more publicity. I would appreciate it if you took a glance at this web site and forwarded it others who might also support this cause in order to get the word around. I know it means a great deal too many families like Abby's.

http://www.artfund.org/queenandcountry/index.php
 
#2
Sorry. I can't go along with this.

I've got mixed feelings about how different families may react to this, not only those of the fallen, but also those of the living.

It may seem a good idea now, but when the families of the fallen throw their used envelopes in the bin, how are they going to feel about consigning a picture of their loved one into the same receptacle.

It's fine to buy stamps of your loved one - you have that choice, but recipients wouldn't have that choice.

Add to that, the thought of philatelists eagerly awaiting the next new stamp.

No. There's got to be a better way.
 
#3
I've never seen this before and it's a sterling idea. In fact, into my signature you go small clicky.
 
#6
From The Art Fund Website:

Q. If Royal Mail do decide to publish the stamps, will some or all of the profits be given to charities such as the Royal British Legion or the British Limbless Ex Servicemans Association?

A. This is not something that I have discussed with the Royal Mail but it is certainly something I can raise. Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.
http://www.artfund.org/queenandcountry/Q_and_A.html

So, the "artist" didn't think of this.

I say "artist" because the photographs were given to him. It would appear that all that needed to be added was the Queen's silhouette and a line of text down one side. I wonder how much his commission is worth.
 
#7
putteesinmyhands said:
Sorry. I can't go along with this.

I've got mixed feelings about how different families may react to this, not only those of the fallen, but also those of the living.
Puttees, I respect what you're saying here, but a bit more public awareness of what actually happens in our AORs might help fight the fight for better conditions of service.

I would object to anything that would be seen as 'tarting' our service, but why not a tribute to the dead?
 
#9
putteesinmyhands said:
From The Art Fund Website:

Q. If Royal Mail do decide to publish the stamps, will some or all of the profits be given to charities such as the Royal British Legion or the British Limbless Ex Servicemans Association?

A. This is not something that I have discussed with the Royal Mail but it is certainly something I can raise. Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.
http://www.artfund.org/queenandcountry/Q_and_A.html

So, the "artist" didn't think of this.

I say "artist" because the photographs were given to him. It would appear that all that needed to be added was the Queen's silhouette and a line of text down one side. I wonder how much his commission is worth.
Cheers for that. However i was wondering if he had been paid for his 'project'. don't see him doing it without funding and wondered if he had, had he donated any of that. However it seems to cover the point that he hasn't put any cash towards any of the Forces charities, as I'm sure he would've mentioned it in the Q and A

edited for mongtype
 
#10
To the general public, the faces on the stamps will be meaningless. There may be a raised awareness of the fact that soldiers are dying when the set of stamps is issued, but it will disappear by the next morning.

The bereaved will probably have mixed feelings. Those who gave consent to having their loved one's face put on a stamp may get a bit of a warm glow - stirring fond memories etc - but those who didn't will still be receiving letters adorned with the faces of soldiers who died. It may not be their son/daughter/husband/wife/mother/father/sister/brother/aunt/uncle/nephew/niece whose face is on the stamp, but it may well be considered to represent them. These are the people who don't have a choice. Can't they be left to grieve in their own way?

While not trying to denigrate PTSD in any way, soldiers have a better chance of coping with the loss of a mate. The system recognises the problem, soldiers share their grief with their surviving mates and life goes on. But what about the wives/husbands of serving soldiers? Each letter that arrives will remind them that their spouse may not be coming back from their current tour. To some extent, MQs may provide some of the group therapy that the soldiers get from being with their mates. But now think about the spouses of the TA soldiers - they probably don't even know each other, let alone drop round for coffee or say hello as they pass in the street.

What comes next? Divorces? Soldiers leaving in droves?

I'm looking at the potential fall-out and I can't see that the pros outweigh the cons - unless you take the opposite stance and view it from the perspective of an anti-military campaigner where the cons are non-existant.
 
#11
I highlighted this project a few weeks ago, I personally believe its a wonderful idea and a good way to bring the faces of those who have died in service of their country to a wider consciousness. I think prompting people to think about (even a passing thought to the memory of) these brave men and women, and those who have survived or who are still on tour, can surely only be a positive thing.
It brings the sacrificed to peoples minds, their homes, their every day. The families of the deceased have approved the pictures used and support the project.
"The stamps would focus on individual experience without euphemism. It would form an intimate reflection of national loss that would involve the families of the dead and permeate the everyday – every household and every office." Steve McQueen

I take your thoughts on board putteesinmyhands, but have to say i don't agree.
I don't think throwing an envelope away with one of these stamps on would be throwing away that persons memory, or be disrespectful. On the contrary, i feel that in the split second that persons face is seen and one hopes their sacrifice recognised and installed in the memory of the person contemplating it, then it has achieved its purpose. If one was being practical one could say the stamp then reverts to what it is, a piece of printed gummed paper. Its the effect of viewing it that is the important thing. Disposing of the stamp would be no different to disposing of a newspaper in which the photograph of a deceased person is carried.
Personally, if it was my loved one who appeared on the stamp, i wouldn't throw it away, i would remove it and keep it with all my other pictures and sentimental objects, but i wouldn't expect someone who didn't know that person to do the same, just as i wouldn't expect them to retain newspaper clippings of my deceased loved one either. I would however be comforted to know that their story has been read, their face looked upon with respect and their sacrifice appreciated.
Remember, Steve has involved the families of the deceased in the process and sought their approval. What he has done has been done out of immense respect. He went out there and was deeply moved, and inspired to do something that would commemorate the dead and bring them into peoples consciousness who otherwise may never think to learn what the faces of those who had died during the conflict looked like.
 
#12
Some good points there Puttees,

I must say when I posted this topic, I didnt envisage the stamps being used en-masse within the Royal Mail system, but thought they were more likely to be issued as limited edition commemorative sets, obviously a few will be used as frankage, but the bulk would be brought by philatelists.
 
#13
At the start of the project 115 families were asked to participate, of whom, 98 agreed. Since then41 new families have been approached and the project has been updated with 39 new additions. A few of the families who are participating in the project have chosen not to have their loved ones represented on this site.
http://www.artfund.org/queenandcountry/The_Families.html

There are currently 101 photographs listed.
http://www.artfund.org/queenandcountry/British_Service_Personnel.html

A total of 156 families have been approached, 17 didn't want to participate and it appears that a total of 55 families don't want their bereaved's photos included.

Altering the direction of the spin, it looks as if a THIRD of the families DON'T want to see their bereaved's face on a stamp.

In the almost 2 months that this has been running, 6 comments have been attracted. One said no, one may have a political agenda and four are supportive.
http://www.artfund.org/policyandcampaigns/campaigns-detail.html?id=642

There are probably other comments to be had in the list of newspapers carrying the story, though what we don't know with any of these lists of comments is how many have been edited out as inappropriate or unsupportive of the editor's view.
http://www.artfund.org/queenandcountry/Queen_and_Country.html
 
#14
Barrack Room Lawyer said:
Some good points there Puttees,

I must say when I posted this topic, I didnt envisage the stamps being used en-masse within the Royal Mail system, but thought they were more likely to be issued as limited edition commemorative sets, obviously a few will be used as frankage, but the bulk would be brought by philatelists.
And probably waiting with baited breath for the Afghanistan series to come out. Morbid, not respectful.

And - if they were to be mainly for philatelists, where's the argument about public awareness?

If I were a real cynic, I'd suggest that it's little more than a scam dreamed up by a Turner Prize winner who lives and works in Holland. But I won't, because that may be libellous. Does he get paid by the number of photos given to him?
 
#15
Hello all! A comment from the septic side of the pond (if you can put up with it for a minute). Just wanted to explain how we have done this over here. For many years many countries have issued "semi-postal" stamps where part of the price goes to postage and part to a charity/cause. The US only started doing this in 1998. There have been a few US "Semi-Postals" but the most popular has been the breast cancer stamp. They have been sold at various prices as postal costs go up.

The current price of mailing a domestic letter in the US is 41 cents for one ounce. The breast cancer stamp sells for 55 cents and for every stamp sold 14 cents goes to breast cancer research. The stamp reads "US Postage .41" It does not sound like a lot but it adds up. To date, the stamp has raised over $54 million for breast cancer research. By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised is given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent is given to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

Just a thought, you would not have to use pictures of actual soldiers, but a generic picture of a soldier with the inscription "ForQueen and Country" and the price. In your case, no need for "UK" as the UK is the only country exempt from the legal requirement to put the name of the country on stamps.

As to the members of the public who don't like to be reminded of dead and wounded soldiers "(verb omitted) and the horse they came in on". It is good for the public to be reminded that people die in the service.

By the way, in case you are wondering, despite the fact that prostate cancer kills more Americans than breast cancer there has never been a prostate cancer stamp.
 
#16
Good point, DavidBOC, however it would appear that these stamps weren't intended to contribute to a charity. AFTER he got funding from the Art Fund and IWM and AFTER approaching Royal Mail to try to get the stamps produced, The Art Fund asked him whether a proportion of the profits would go to charity. And his answer was (as posted above) "This is not something that I have discussed with the Royal Mail but it is certainly something I can raise. Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion."

Does this suggest "Not from my royalties, mate, but I'll ask the Royal Mail if they'll chip in"? If I were Liz, I'd be asking for the OBE back.

Personally, I'd go for something along the lines of the Abandoned Soldier image which would actually be economic to produce (one image insted of 100+) and could also be used on flyers, sold as posters etc. to spread the message more effectively.
 
#17
A radio interview with the "artist":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/frontrow/frontrow_20040507.shtml

He was commissioned by IWM to follow a 100 year old tradition of artists being sent to locations of battles.

He went to Basra in December 2003 for a week, but didn't get any material that he considered was worth doing anything with. ... Because he was hoping to go to Baghdad, where he'd get a better feel for the fighting that took place.

BAGHDAD? Did he forget that IWM wanted artwork depicting BRITISH troops?

He was told that there weren't any British troops in Baghdad, so he couldn't go. (Shhh!)

He then hoped for three more separate weeks in Iraq. One with the British, one with the AMERICANS in Baghdad and one roving INDEPENDENTLY. (WTF's going on?)

His plans were dashed when things started flaring up in early 2004 and IWM cancelled his commission due to inability to get insurance.

Now, bear in mind that this bloke isn't an artist in the brush and easel sense, he wanders around with a 16mm movie camera, so it's not as if he needs to sit in one place for days on end, so what was he doing for a week? (oh, forgot - it rained, didn't it).

Now, leaving him in the background for a while, what was the thinking at IWM? A proper artist could listen to the account of a battle, sketch a wall, superimpose a Warrior, a few soldiers, smoke, dust, even sunshine and come up with a credible battle scene. But no, they send a bloke with a movie camera. Great for capturing the moment, but useless for recreating an event of nine months ago.

What's the outcome? The "artist" somehow gets recommissioned to collect photos of service personnel who have been killed and mildly doctor them to look like postage stamps. THEN he hits on the idea of making them into REAL postage stamps.

As you may have noticed, I'm quite livid because the bloke purporting to be supporting the British Forces obviously hasn't got a clue (and neither has the IWM).
 
#18
I think marketing the dead is not a good idea for charity. Dont get me wrong I have full respect for all have died for our country whether it was a politically the right decision to do so or not, as being soldier a myself. Its not snobbery but I am sure there other ways that can be done to remind 'jo public' what sacrifice these brave men and women have done. Maybe thought of the day like what they have on Radio 4, by virtue of something being advertised and bought, not nessecarily a stamp. Half of them dont give monkeys anyway.... more of them care about Jade Goodie and other chav scum, like when Jordans next book is going to be out, called 'I am a fcukwit a chav scumbag but becoz I have big norks everyone will buy it' :x :x :x :x :x :x
 
#19
bitterandtwisted said:
I think marketing the dead is not a good idea for charity. Dont get me wrong I have full respect for all have died for our country whether it was a politically the right decision to do so or not, as being soldier a myself. Its not snobbery but I am sure there other ways that can be done to remind 'jo public' what sacrifice these brave men and women have done. Maybe thought of the day like what they have on Radio 4, by virtue of something being advertised and bought, not nessecarily a stamp.
I think whats being forgotten in all this debate is the fact that this project and piece of artwork is exactly that, its the vision of one artist, not intended to be a piece of advertising or a charitable scheme.
It's promoted a lot of heated discussion obviously and not everyone is going to agree that its a good idea but there are many who do, and are supporting the artists vision by signing the petition.
I'm thankful we are able to live in country where this kind of freedom of opinion and choice is possible, and recognise the role played by those in the armed forces throughout generations past and present to enable us that lifestyle.
Recognising and honouring the dead is something personal to each of us. I hope our individual efforts to commemorate the deceased does not cause grief to others, and i know that there is no intention of that incorporated within the vision of this artist.
As an artist myself i agree there are many ways to honour our soldiers within the spectrum of what we call art. Its all about what speaks to us as individuals. Steve's work is one vision, and supported by many.
 
#20
Starfire a fair point.As i do not know your background I cannot comment on your view point, however to many of us on this site, these people are not unknown individuals. As an 'artist' he is profiting from the deaths of our friends and family, this alone leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time this 'project' is mentioned. As such there are those, like myself, who feel that firstly his 'project' is in poor taste to begin with (which has been debated inside out on the earlier thread ref this) and secondly anyone, not just this 'artist' who profits from the death of service personnel should at the very least give something back to those he is profiting from. This is not a series of pretty photos of cats and dogs it is a series of pictures of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. So for all that there are many who may support this 'project' , there are also many who do not and they are equally entitled to voice their opinion.
 

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