Entertaining Australian troops at war in Afghanistan and Iraq

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

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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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 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.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2014 06:13
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2015 02:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: Iraq War; Afghanistan War; Australian Army; entertainers; popular culture; popular music; comedy; concerts
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200206 Globalisation and Culture
Socio-Economic Objective: A Defence > 81 Defence > 8101 Defence > 810199 Defence not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25054

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