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Student puts research skills into practice on World War Two programme placement

10 January 2018

Witness to War

A third year PhD student recently saw her research come to life after carrying out a placement on the television programme World War Two: Witness to War.

Ayshka Sene is currently carrying out a PhD at the School funded by the Arts, Humanities and Research Council (AHRC) South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

Ayshka’s research relates to British women in France during the Second World War and her three years at the School has given her the opportunity to work with a variety of sources including oral history interviews conducted with survivors, and written accounts, diaries, and letters from various archival holdings in the UK and Europe.  She was keen to see how research can inform television content and how it could be disseminated beyond academia. Consequently, when Professor Hanna Diamond was interviewed for World War Two: Witness to War she enquired about placement opportunities with the production company, Like a Shot Entertainment.

Ayshka Sene
Ayshka Sene

As a result, Ayshka worked with the company from February to May 2017, sourcing all eye witness testimonies which formed the basis of the series. Ayshka also worked as an Assistant Producer on filming days with academic experts and provided the research and background for three episodes in the series.

Talking of her experience, Ayshka said, “Working as a researcher with Like A Shot was a rewarding and eye opening experience. It was great to see how my skills as a researcher can be easily transferred to documentary research and that my findings could inform and bring fresh perspectives to the documentary series.”

The 12 part series World War Two: Witness to War was first shown on Quest and Discovery US during 2017 and is now available online at the AHCTV website.

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