Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Monday, 14 July 2014

Home Fronts : Gender War and Conflict Conference 5-7 September

This year Worcestershire is hosting the National Women's History Network Annual Conference which will take place at the city campus between 5-7 of September.  The theme is Home Fronts: Gender War and Conflict, to tie in line with the WWI Commemoration beginning this year. 
There will be over 100 papers from speakers across the world looking at the Home Front in a number of countries in the First and Second World Wars, the  English and American Civil Wars as well as other conflicts from Ancient Rome to the Vietnam War.  There will also be the chance to visit the Infirmary Museum, an exhibition on Worcestershire's War at the Hive, view films and visit book stalls. I have attached a poster and the final programme.
We have designated the Sunday as a special morning for schools and colleges and on this day we will be waiving the conference fee to students and teachers in the Worcestershire area.  We also have some bursaries for those who volunteer or work part-time in the heritage, museum and archive services in Worcestershire. Please email maggie.andrews@worc.ac.uk to enquire about these.
We do hope that you will decide to join us for at least one of the three days.
Booking is online via   http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/home-fronts-gender-war-and-conflict and closes on 30 August 2014.
 Home Fronts: Gender, War and Conflict -  Timetable

Friday 5th of September

From 11:00 Registration  

Range of potential visits and exhibitions to view including the Infirmary Museum, Maureen Gamble’s ‘Mending: Life and Loss’ Worcestershire ‘s War at the Hive, Also the National Trust property Greyfriars House and Garden (£5 to non- national trust members) is within walking distance  of the conference.  Cafés  in Hive, Greyfriars and on campus are open for lunch.

1:20-1:30 Welcome

1:30-2:30:- Keynote  Professor Susan –Mary Grant : University of Newcastle  - Chair Maggie Andrews

When the Fires Burned Too Close to Home: Southern Women and the Dislocations of the Home-front in the American Civil War

The role of women in the American Civil War is in many ways a story in two parts, or possibly three. For Northern women, the war was largely a distant event, its battlefields represented in static images of photographs from the front, its horrors conveyed well enough in the many thousands of letters, wounded men, and coffins, sent home, but its impact muted by distance, its dislocations far removed from their daily lives. For white Southern women, by contrast, the war was in their front yards, in their homes, many of which served as hospitals or as headquarters for the troops, and in their gardens, the temporary, and sometimes permanent, graveyards for the Confederate dead. And for both black and white women, the dislocations of war were theirs, whether they found themselves as refugees, fleeing the invading Union armies, or as slaves, seizing the opportunities the war brought to flee toward freedom. This paper explores this dislocated world, between home-front and battle-front, between slavery and freedom, between the masculine military environment and the female domestic one. Its focus is on those points where these worlds collided in order to identify and define the collective strategies, and the implications of these, deployed by Southern women, black and white, seeking to survive in a world at war.


Susan-Mary Grant is Professor of American History at Newcastle University. She is the author of North Over South: Northern Nationalism and American Identity in the Antebellum Era (2000), The War for a Nation: The American Civil War (2006), and The Concise History of the United States of America (CUP, 2012). Her research explores the broader social impact of the Civil War, especially on veterans and their families, from which she has published “‘Mortal in this season’: Union Surgeons and the Narrative of Medical Modernisation in the American Civil War” in the Social History of Medicine (2014).


2: 30 -4:00 Parallel Sessions 3/4 papers 5 Strands

Friday  2:30-4:00
Refugees    Chair - Laura Ugolini
Politics and Organisations
Culture Clashes: Gender, Conflict and Belgian Refugees in Yorkshire
Alison Fell, University of Leeds
A ‘position of peculiar responsibility’: Quaker women and the relief of refugees on home fronts in Birmingham and beyond, 1914-24.
Sian Roberts, Library of Birmingham
Home Front« Across the Sea: Home Front Action in WWII Refugee Camps Explored
Kornelija Ajlec, University of Ljubljana


Friday 2:30-4:00
Politics and Westminster  Chair – Rose Miller
Politics  and Organisations
Ellen Wilkinson and Home Security 1940-1945
Paula Bartley, Independent Scholar
The Home Front in the "Westminster Village": Women in Parliament during the First and Second World Wars
Mari Takayanagi, Parliamentary Archives
Questioning the ‘political’ during the People’s War    
Eve Worth, University of Oxford 


Friday 2:30-4:00
Professions in WW1  Chair Susan Anderson-Faithful.  
Women’s work in the First World War: Evidence from the Accountancy Profession
Jane Berney, Independent Scholar  
Herbs, herbalists and the home front
Jane Adams, The Open University 
‘The professional or the patriot? Women, agency and the professions in Wales during the First World War’
Beth Jenkins, Cardiff University
Mrs C S  Peel : A Woman at Work ( 1914-1918)
Catherine Kawalek, Independent Researcher 


Friday 2:30-4:00
Regional  and National Stories  of WW1  Chair Jody Crutchley
Locale and Region
Remembering Scarborough
Kate Vigurs, University of Leeds
Lincolnshire’s Fishermen’s Wives, Fisher Lasses and Landladies, 1914 - 1919
Katherine Storr, Independent Scholar
The Extra-ordinariness of Everyday Life on the Home Front: Women and Crime in Wartime Crewe, Cheshire 1914-18
David Cox, University of Wolverhampton
More Money, More Freedom’:  British women workers on the Home Front, 1914 to 1918
Alison Enever, University of Southampton


Friday 2:30-4:00
Fashion and Image in Wartime   Chair Laura Jones
“I Must Say, I Think It Is Extraordinarily Vulgar, To Be Wearing Bows Amidst a Sea of Black”: Debates about Fashion and Patriotism During the U.S. Civil War
Holly Kent, University of Illinois-Springfield
Protecting the Home on the Home Front – The Figure of the Prostitute during the Great War
Laura Lammasniemi, Birkbeck College, University of London
The Essential Accessory: Lipstick, Femininity and Morale in Britain during World War Two
 June Rowe, University of the Arts, London
Beauty on the Move
Donna Bevan, Southampton Solent University


4:00-4:30 Tea


4:30-6:15  4/5 Papers  5 Parallel Sessions

Friday 4:30-6:30
Sexuality and War    Chair Sian Roberts
“Sexual Encounters of Women at the Home Front in Britain and Germany in the Second World War 1939-45”
Vandana Joshi, Humboldt University, Berlin,
Florida’s Wartime Campaign against Venereal Disease and the Women who Harbored It.
Claire Strom, Rollins College, Florida
“Fright of sex”: Emotion and British national identity
Hera Cook, University of Otago, Wellington
First World War as a Fracture in Perception of Women’s Sexual Morality in Slovene imaginarium
Irena Selišnik and Ana Cergol Paradiž, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The economy of emotions: German women’s illicit love affairs with PoWs in the Second World War
Cornelie Usborne, Roehampton University, London 


Friday 4:30-6:30
Everyday Life on the Home Front  in WW2  Chair June Purvis
Domesticity and Families
A Good Housewife in Wartime’ :  Food Rationing and the Construction of Femininity on the British Home Front
Kelly Spring, University of Manchester
The Daily Express and Evacuation 1939-1942
Caroline Victoria Dale, University of Aberystwyth
 Print Media and Documents of Women in Turkey during the Second World War: roles, practices and politics
Sevgi Uçan Çubukçu, University of Istanbul
Women’s Experiences and Private Life During the Second World War in Turkey: Marriage, Household Economics, Health, Fashion, Entertainment (1939-1945)
Aynur  Soydean Erdmemir, Istanbul University
“There was only temporary relief from tiredness”– Women’s embodied memories of work during the 2nd Word War in Finland
Kirsi-Maria Hytönen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 


Friday 4:30-6:15
Work in WW2   Chair  Dianne Newell
Gender and Civil Defence during the Second World War in Britain
Jessica Hammett, University of Sussex
“It’s because we’re just women”; Female reflections of the self in the workplace during the Second World War
Daniel Swan, University of Portsmouth
‘Tid’apa’?  British Women on the Home Front in Malaya and Singapore, 1939-42
Bridget Deane, University of West of England
A Matter of Life and Death: Constructing RAF Combat Masculinity on the Home Front’
Jack Doyle, University of Oxford


Friday 4:30-6:00
Women’s Organisations in WW1  Chair Kate Murphy
Politics and Organisations
Conflict on the Australian Home Front: The Women’s Peace Army and  Women’s Loyal Service  Bureau
Wendy Michaels, University of Newcastle, New South Wales
Feminist Peace Activism during the Great War: The British section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915 – 1919
Sarah Hellawell, University of Northumbria
‘This Righteous War’: religious agendas and patriotic activism in the Anglican Mothers’ Union and Girls’ Friendly Society on the home front 1914-18
Sue Anderson- Faithful, University of Winchester 


Friday 4:30-6:30
Eastern European Home Fronts  Chair  Paula Bartley
 Locale and Region
Everyday lives and duties of Polish women in the rural provinces of the eastern Polish land during World War I
Malgorzata Dajnowicz, University of Bialystok  
We have to do everything that strong and loving mothers are able to do for the nation!” Protection of women and their children in wartime Hungary
Dóra Czeferner, University of Pécs 
Lithuanian Women during World War I: Activities and Aspirations
Virginija Jureniene, Vilnius University  
Confronting the front: shedding light upon the civilian population
Urška Strle, Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia
‘An Ambassador’s Daughter in War and Revolution: Russia, 1914-1918’
Jane McDermid, University of Southampton


6:30  Routledge Sponsored Reception awarding of WHN Prizes and accordion  music  

followed by Drama - F.A.N.Y   Anonymous is a Woman  - Leila Sykes 

Saturday 6th September

9:30 -11:00 Parallel Sessions 3/4 papers 5 Strands

Saturday 9:30-11:00
Women’s Work in WW1 Chair  Jane Adams
‘The Welsh girls are good fighters’: social relations, female activism and women’s experiences of work in munitions factories in Wales during the First World War
Thomas George, Cardiff University
‘Here come the girls!’ The Origins of the Women Volunteers at the Army Pay Office Woolwich from August to October 1914
John Black, Independent Scholar
Birmingham Women Remember: War-Work and the Home Front during the First World War.
Jo-Ann Curtis, Birmingham Museums Trust


Saturday 9:30-11
Merging the Home and War Fronts   Chair Alison Fell
 Politics and Organisations
The Female POW: From 8 Hours to Four Years
“When the Home Front is the War Front: Non-Combatant Women in Wartime South Vietnam”
Amanda Chapman Boczar, University of Kentucky   
Lotta Svärd Organisation on the Home Front in Finland, 1939-1944
Seija-Leena Nevala-Nurmi, University of Tampere, Finland
Women Messages in French Post-Cards during WW1: A Visual, Textual, and Contextual Analysis
Caroline Perret - University of Westminster


Saturday 9:30 – 11
Education and Youth   Chair  David Doughan
Politics and  Organisations
Civilian fathers and servicemen sons in the English middle classes, 1914-18
Laura Ugolini, University of Wolverhampton
Responsibility, Duty, Sympathy and Self-Sacrifice”: Empire and Elementary School Curricula on the Home-Front, 1914-1918
Jody Crutchley, University of Worcester 
The Boy’s Historian’: Mobilizing from the Colonial Home Front to Modelling Empire-Builders
Laura Jones, University of Worcester 
Goodbye Trabzon Hello Istanbul: Anatolia from the Diary of a Young Girl
Stefan Hock, Georgetown University


Saturday 9:30-11
Army Wives and Widows  Chair Linda McGuire
Domesticity  and Families
The fashioning of the bereavement narratives of the widows of parliamentarian military officers during the British Civil Wars
Andrew Hopper, University of Leicester  
“Your petitioner lost not only her husband...”: Royalist widows as guardians of their family estates during the Civil Wars and Interregnum
Hannah Worthen, University of Leicester & The National Archives
Waging War on the Home Front? Marital Physical Conflicts in Early Modern London
Loreen L. Giese, Ohio University   


Saturday 9:30 -11
Culture, Literature and Music in WW2 and beyond  Chair Holly Kent
Fictional Geographies of Safety and Cleanliness in House-Bound by Winifred Peck, (1942)
Jackie Kyte, Birkbeck College, University of London 
Fig for the Morrow I'll Sing to the End: Survival during internment by the Japanese in Sumatra, WW2
Barbara Coombes, Independent scholar
“Never truly feminine.” Challenges to dominant discourses of female identity during the Second World War in the poetry of Lotte Kramer and Alice Coats. 
Geraldine Roberts-Stone, Edge Hill University
American Home Front Away from Home: Judith Merril’s Broadcast Journalism in Toronto During the Vietnam War, 1968-1975.
Dianne Newell, University of British Columbia and Victoria Lamont, University of Waterloo Canada


11:00 – 11:15  Coffee/ Tea  Break

11:15-12:15  Keynote  : Professor  Karen Hunt : University of Keele   - Chair Anne Logan

Gendering the Local Home Front (1914 -19)

Histories of life in wartime tend to focus on the extraordinary and the unusual; the remembered; and what was new or different. This applies to all modern war but especially to what many see as the first truly ‘modern’ war, the Great War. However, if we change our focus to the everyday, the banal and often forgotten details of daily life, we may find that continuities are as important as changes. This is particularly the case when we consider the home front. Everyday life had to go on, despite the challenges, privations and sorrows of this new kind of ‘total’ war. Yet it is clear that whichever combatant nation one looks at, there was a diversity of experience on the home front dependant on place – hence local home fronts – but also on class, on age, and particularly on gender. And that these experiences varied over time. In order to understand how place (the city, the suburb, the town, the village) shaped everyday experience on the home front, this lecture will draw on examples from across and beyond Britain. It will ask how everyday life on local home fronts challenged or reinforced existing gender relations, and whether this had any lasting effect beyond the peculiar circumstances of wartime.


Karen Hunt is Professor of Modern British History at Keele University and is currently Head of Humanities Research at Keele, as well as Chair of the Social History Society (2014-17). Her publications cover many aspects of the gendering of politics (locally, nationally and transnationally) particularly from the 1880s to 1939, including Equivocal Feminists (1996) and Socialist Women (2002)(with June Hannam). Her current research juggles a number of intersecting interests: the life and politics of Dora Montefiore; interwar women’s politics, focusing on the local and the everyday; and women and the politics of food in the First World War. She is an advisor to the AHRC/BBC World War One at Home project in the West Midlands.


This keynote is sponsored by the Voices of War and Peace and AHRC funded WWI Hub http://www.voicesofwarandpeace.org

12:15-1:00 Parallel Sessions  2 papers 5 Strands

Saturday 12:15-1:00
 Violence and Survival. Chair Maggie Andrews
Domesticity and Families
Victims or survivors: army wives in Ireland during the Crimean War 1854-6
Paul Huddie, Queens University Belfast
Two English Scripts of Ravishment : Divisions between Royalist an Parliamentarian Utilization of Rape
Talya Houseman, Brown University, USA


Saturday 12:15-1:00
WW2 Rationing    Chair Catherine Kawalek
Domesticity and Families
‘A little extra’: Women and rationing in Glasgow, 1939-54.
Hayley Cross, University of Glasgow
Home Front Diaries: Over Representations of the Chattering Classes?
Elspeth King, University of Worcester


Saturday 12:15-1:00
Island Narratives   Chair Jody Crutchley
Locale and Region
Wait, watch – and work: ‘business as usual’ for Shetland’s women in the war
Linda Riddell, Edinburgh University
Class, politics and gender: the Irish home front during the First World War
Fionnuala Walsh, Trinity College Dublin 


Saturday 12:15-1:00
Suffrage  and War     Chair Thomas George
Politics and Organisations
Votes, Wages and Milk: the East London Federation of Suffragettes on the Home Front, 1914-1916

Sarah Jackson, Independent Scholar 
'Chrystal Macmillan and the enemy women on the Home Front'
Helen Kay, Independent Scholar


Saturday 12:15-1:00
Politics and Organisations in WW1   Chair Daniel Swan
Politics and Organisations
Inventing the British Home Front: Women’s Self-Militarisation in Prewar and First World War Britain
Krisztina Robert, University of Roehampton
Home and Away: Gender and Politics in First World War Tunbridge Wells
Anne Logan, University of Kent  


1-2 Lunch

1:45 onwards Guided Tours of Infirmary building – please book at the registration desk.

1:45 -3:15      Film Screenings   On the Border Dir. Lizzie Thynne, University of Sussex

This 56 minute documentary is a daughter’s exploration of her Finnish family’s history prompted by the letters, objects, and photographs left in her mother's apartment; produced in the UK in 2012.



1:45  - 3:15      Film Screening  by North East Film Archive of material from WW1

2:00 -  3:15 :  WHN AGM



3:15-4:15  Keynote Deborah Thom, University of Cambridge   -  Chair Jenni Waugh

Revisiting the history of the public history of women and war

War created instant history from 1916 and ever since the history of women and the First World War has been a synonym for thinking about a distinctive female contribution, about the politics of gender and the cultural and social history of war. Looking again at the history is a way of thinking about sources and methods, thinking again about how far historians 'disturb the ground on which they stand' or how far they build new memorials to the past.


Deborah Thom has taught history at Robinson College Cambridge for 27 years to social scientists, historians  and students of History and Philosophy of Science. Her PhD and major book  are on women's work and the First World war and she has researched and  published on feminism, education, child psychology and family. She is  currently writing a book about corporal punishment in 20th century Britain  and is a member of the academic advisory board for the Imperial War Museum  gallery on the First World War.


4:15-4:45  Tea  

4:45-6:30 Parallel Sessions 3/4 papers 4 Strands

Saturday 4:45-6:30
Women’s Organisations in  WW2    Chair   Phillida Bunkle
Politics and Organisations
Caring for those left behind: The work of the Huddersfield Prisoner of War Committee, 1940-1946
Barbara Hately, University of Sheffield
From pacifism to a new world order: the Women’s Co-operative Guild and the home front in Britain, 1939-45
Peter Gurney, University of Essex
‘For Home and Country’: shifting relations of power around gender amongst housewives associations during the Second World War
Caitríona Beaumont, London South Bank University
'Women wanted for Evacuation Service':  Government Policy and the work of the Women's Voluntary Service (WVS) during the Second World War
June Balshaw  University of Greenwich


Saturday 4:45-6:30
Home Fronts in Africa  Chair  Elspeth King
Locale and Region
‘Families by Thousands, Far Too Proud to Beg or Speak’: Supporting British Servicemen’s Dependents during the South African War (1899-1902)
Eliza Riedi, School of History, University of Leicester
‘Still wives, mothers, helpmeets, divorcees, widows and workers’: white women’s experiences of the home front during Rhodesia’s liberation struggle c.1970-1980
Kate Law, Centre for Africa Studies, University of the Free State.             
The experience of white South African women during the Second World War
Jean Smith, University of California, Santa Barbara


Saturday 4:45-6:30
Art, Conflict and War   Chair  Laura Jones
Narrating Absence: The First World War through the lens of Florence Camm's stained glass memorial windows
Elaine Williams, University of Birmingham 
Visual propaganda? a study of elite women's portraits in an era of 'crisis' 
Helen Ackers, Wolfson College, Oxford University 

Women artists in the Spanish Pavilion of the International Exhibition in 1937


Carmen Gaitán Salinas, Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid


Wrens in Camera: The Silent Service looks back through the photography of Lee Miller
Janet Harrison, University of Worcester


Saturday 4:45-6:15
Literature and Music  in WW1  Chair  Kate Vigurs
Identity and the Home Front in A.T. Fitzroy’s Despised and Rejected
Nadine Tschacksch, University of Cambridge 
“She must hold the center of the stage and the reins of power”: Classical Female Models in Les Vaillaintes by Léon Abensour and The Living Present by Gertrude Atherton
Philippa Read, University of Leeds 
Women in classical music on the British Home Front during the First World War
Jane Angell, Royal Holloway, University of London 


7:30 Conference Dinner

Sunday 7th September

9:45  Coffee / Tea and pastries

Parallel Sessions  3/4 papers 5 strands

Sunday 10:15 -12
Domestic Lives in World War I and 2 Chair Elspeth King
Domesticity and Families
“For County and Country: United States Homemakers and Rural Home Fronts during World War II”
Caelin Niehoff, Newberry Library of Chicago
Housewives of the Home Front: Testimonies from Wartime Diaries (1939-1945)
Natacha Chevalier, University of Sussex  
“From Colonial Widow to Imperial War Hero: Madge Watt and the Beginning of the Women’s Institutes”
Linda Ambrose, Laurentian University, Canada
Keep the home fires burning……..
Paul Cleave, University of Exeter


Sunday 10:15 -12
Nursing and Medical  Histories  Chair  Mark Macleod
Medical Missionary Women on the Home Front in the First and Second World Wars
Sarah Jane Bodell, University of Warwick
‘And they say women could do our work!’: The impact of medical dilution on the gendering of the British Home Front in the First World War
Jessica Meyer, University of Leeds 
'Angels or citizens: caring for the wounded on the home front '  
Susan Cohen, Parkes Institution, University of Southampton
Sustaining British Women’s Hospitals for Women in War and Peace
Phillida Bunkle, Kings College, London


Sunday 10:15 -12
Home Fronts in the Classical Period  Chair Jane Berney
Locale and Region
Sticks and stones: defending house and home in an ancient Greek siege
Aimee Schofield, University of Manchester 
Waiting Wives and False Reports: The Home Front in Fifth-Century BC Athens
Erika Weiberg, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
“Your courage is beyond belief”: expected behaviour of Roman women during civil conflict
Linda McGuire, Independent Researcher


Sunday 10:15 -12
Home Fronts Beyond  WW2  Chair Hera Cook
Locale and Region
Forgotten Agents in a Forgotten Home Front: German Women under French Occupation in Post-Nazi Germany, 1945-1949
Katherine Rossy, Queen Mary University of London
Homefront continued? Marriage crisis and divorces after WW2 in Austria
Waltraud Schuetz, European University Institute, Italy 
Laboratory Wives and Test Site Widows: Cold War Women of Los Alamos 
Lee Chambers, University of Colorado, USA
‘Waiting is the women’s role’. The Falklands War (1982) the ‘Home Front’.
Victoria Woodman, University of Portsmouth 


Sunday 10:15-12
Media and Sport    Chair Mehreen Miza
“An undoubted success”: Women, Work and the BBC in the Second World War
Kate Murphy, University of Bournemouth 
“Even the world of sport suffered a feminine invasion”: Women's sport in Second World War Britain
Raf Nicholson, Queen Mary, University of London
Portraying the Homemaker on the Home Front : Housewives and Mothers in WW2 Film
Maggie Andrews, University of Worcester


12-1 Keynote  Dr Lisa Pine, South Bank University -  Chair Paddy McNally

German Women and the Home Front in the Second World War

This paper will examine six themes, which together encompass many of the key aspects of life on the home front for German women during the Second World War. First, it will address food and consumption - in particular, the availability of foodstuffs, rationing and its impact. Second, and closely related to this, it will consider the way in which women contended with food shortages by turning to the black market and ‘hamstering’. Third, it will discuss Nazi propaganda and education initiatives aimed at women during the war - such as the ‘struggle against waste’, how to cook appetising dishes with limited foodstuffs, how to collect herbs and leaves and their uses. Fourth, it will look at clothing - in particular, the shortage of material and the need for mending. Fifth, it will discuss women and work during the war. Hitler was concerned about keeping up popular morale on the home front and therefore much consideration went into when and how German women were going to be obliged to work for the war effort. Women were called up for wartime labour service comparatively late, in 1943. This created a double burden for women, both in industrial and urban areas and in the countryside, as women had to undertake work in the cities or run their farms, as well as to continue their familial and household duties. The call up of women to war work was inconsistent, however, and they benefited from the import of some 7 million foreign labourers, which allowed the opportunity for many German women to evade work duties. Lastly, this paper will discuss the impact of Allied bombing in the cities on women's lives. Children were evacuated to the countryside and women had to cope with their utility services being cut or their homes being destroyed. A consideration of all these aspects of life on the home front will illustrate the impact of the Second World War on German women's lives.


Lisa Pine is Reader in History at London South Bank University. She is a graduate of the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science and obtained her doctorate from the University of London in 1996. Her major publications include: Education in Nazi Germany (Oxford, 2010); Hitler’s ‘National Community’: Society and Culture in Nazi Germany (London, 2007); Nazi Family Policy, 1933-1945 (Oxford, 1997).


1:00 Lunch

2: 00 – 5:00 optional trip to Stanbrook Abbey for tea and tour (20 - 30 places  £12)

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