Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War
On Display March 23rd – May 1st, 2021
Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War is a traveling exhibit that remembers the witness of peace-minded people against the First World War 1914-1918. This witness included men and women, religious believers and secular humanitarians, political protesters and sectarian separatists. They resisted U.S. involvement in the war, the enactment of military conscription, the war bond drives, and the denial of freedom of speech under the Espionage and Sedition Acts. For this resistance many suffered community humiliation, federal imprisonment, and mob violence at the hands of a war-crusading American public. This exhibit lifts up the prophetic insights and the personal courage of World War I peace protesters, and suggests parallels to the culture of war and violence in our world today.
The exhibit is organized in ten themes that encourage exploration and reflection. The theme modules surround a recreation of an Alcatraz Prison cell, the site where Hutterite conscientious objectors were punished for refusing military participation. Text and quotes provide interpretation and raise provocative questions for viewers while large-scale graphics and photomurals immerse visitors in the historical experience of witnessing for peace during “total war.”
A collaborative team of historians and museum professionals developed Voices of Conscience at Kauffman Museum. The exhibit is based on Kauffman Museum’s 30 years of experience in designing and building award-winning projects with a specific focus on innovative approaches to traveling exhibits.
Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War is a traveling exhibit developed
by Kauffman Museum, which remembers the narratives of peoples of faith who opposed
the war. The exhibit examines key questions such as:
- Who speaks for peace in times of war?
- What am I willing to fight for?
- What am I willing to die for?
- Is paying for war participating in war?
- How would I respond to violence?
- Who are the voices of conscience today?
Stories of the death of the Hutterite Martyrs of Alcatraz and the tarring and feathering of Mennonite farmers in Kansas provide examples of stalwart faith in the face of terror perpetrated by war advocates.
Download the Discussion Guide here.
For more information visit VoicesOfConscienceExhibit.org
For more information contact (620)846-2527. We are expecting many groups and tours during this exhibit, please call in advance to schedule a tour if you are planning to come with a group of 5 or more! Business hours for the Stauth Memorial Museum are: Tue – Sat 9-12, 1-4:30. Closed Sundays, Mondays & major holidays. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Please note that we require mask wearing and social distancing while inside the Museum to help keep staff members and other visitors safe. If you feel that you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days please save your visit to the museum for another time.