Entertaining Australian troops at war in Afghanistan and Iraq

Article


Gehrmann, Richard. 2014. "Entertaining Australian troops at war in Afghanistan and Iraq." Popular Entertainment Studies. 5 (1), pp. 128-143.
Article Title

Entertaining Australian troops at war in Afghanistan and Iraq

ERA Journal ID122924
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorGehrmann, Richard
Journal TitlePopular Entertainment Studies
Journal Citation5 (1), pp. 128-143
Number of Pages16
Year2014
Place of PublicationNewcastle, Australia
ISSN1837-9303
Web Address (URL)https://novaojs.newcastle.edu.au/ojs/index.php/pes/article/view/138/109
Abstract

This article examines the Australian Defence Force concert tours during the War on Terror in the Middle East area of operations. From 2001 members of the Australian Defence Force were deployed to the Middle East for service in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. Following the tradition established in earlier conflicts both by Australian and American performers, Australian artists entertained troops in a series of live concert performances. Despite the prevalence of alternatives such as easily accessible online forms of entertainment and DVDs, the practice of military concert tour entertainment has survived and appears to show little sign of redundancy. For the troops, the experience could provide a break from routine, stress, and boredom, as well as the opportunity to reconnect with the world they had left behind. However, these tours were far more significant for the civilian entertainers. Performing in the Middle East could be an exhilarating and in some cases a life changing event. Apart from being physically dangerous, participation could potentially harm or enhance an entertainer's reputation at home due to the highly politicised responses to the conflict. Most significantly, touring entertainers briefly experienced something unfamiliar to most people in contemporary developed societies—the experience of being in a war.

KeywordsIraq War; Afghanistan War; Australian Army; entertainers; popular culture; popular music; comedy; concerts
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020369999. Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
430302. Australian history
470210. Globalisation and culture
Public Notes

© 2014 The Author. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source. Open access journal.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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