Please Stand is an attempt to capture every anthem currently being sung and to examine the complex, contentious and bizarre histories that sit beneath each catchy (or not so catchy) tune.
Working with young performers, musicians and child activists, the project examines what national anthems profess to represent versus our global political realities. Which anthems were originally drinking songs? Which were initially written in blood on prison walls? How many contain glowing love hearts? And why do so many anthems mention freedom yet continue to exclude?
Please Stand questions the practice of myth making around national identity and of nation building and the potential of what it means to stand up and sing together – or to sit down and be silent.
This work is currently in research and development phase, with presentation outcomes planned for 2022.
Co created by Samara Hersch and Lara Thoms
Sound Design: Aviva Endean
Producer: Freya Waterson
Photo Credit: Bryony Jackson