In a world of fake news and harvested data, immersive audio-visual experience I Swear To Tell The Truth at Imperial War Museum North (part of the Syria: A Conflict Explored season)  forces us to reflect on our perception of the world’s crises and reconsider our positions in relation to them. Participants are guided around the museum’s permanent collection and temporary installations via verbal instructions, a set of provocative activities and a total of nine “chapters” (or ten, if your visit coincides with a Big Picture Show). From an off-piste initial exercise studying the Main Exhibition Space’s spotlights to an exposé of the manipulative algorithms used by the media, the journey investigates the nature of truth and asks us to confront how we process information. In a building already designed to confuse and discombobulate, with its sharp angles, dark corners and unsettling slopes, wandering about wearing headphones and sporadically engaging other visitors who “have also sworn to tell the truth” creates a challenge that yanks you from your comfort zone and exposes your own vulnerabilities. Allow about an hour to complete the tour plus extra time to take in the exhibitions Syria: Story Of A Conflict and Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens On Syria (pictured).

Until Mon 28 May, IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, M17 1TZ, Tel: 0161 836 4000, 10am-5pm, £4-6,

Image: © Sergey Ponomarev for the New York Times Homs, Syria, 14 June 2014 Assad’s Syria (2013-2014) 

Thu 15 Mar - Mon 28 May
Sarah-Clare Conlon
Published on:
Sat 19 May 2018