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1. Afghanistan

Bandstand Afghanistan

The children of Queen Anne Royal Free First School produced a rich array of images including soldiers, mosques, children and Buster, one of the dogs employed by the military to detect mines and save lives. Afghanistan has a long and fascinating history. It has been famous for its treasures, beauty and variety but in recent decades it has struggled as a region damaged by conflict and violence. The people of Afghanistan continue to strive to live well and create a future for their families under difficult circumstances. One of the British Army’s roles is to support this endeavor. The army assists in building schools, reaches out to local communities and, with the assistance of dogs like Buster, diffuse some of the damaging remnants of war. Like the children of Windsor, the children of Afghanistan love to learn and play. The boy and girl depicted in the final illustration are both holding school books and the girl a pen.

Illustrations by Rebecca Elliott

When the children of six local schools researched the themes for the six bandstand panels they came up with a fantastic array of images and designs which became the inspiration and basis of the final artwork.

The notable and linking themes were the children’s identification with other youngsters who are caught up in conflict and that the end goal of conflict is peace, stability and reconciliation. Sadly children and their environment are often casualties of conflict and the designs showed a vision and optimism that is to be celebrated. The image of a dove, representative of peace, comes up throughout the artwork.  It is these themes that are reflected in the final illustrations for the panels starting with the celebration of the united stability of the Commonwealth nations that is such a central feature of the Queen’s reign since her coronation in 1953.