A unique look at the impact of war on the human spirit is the timely exhibition currently running at the Firstsite art gallery in Colchester.

Part of the nation's wholesale remembrance of the centenary anniversary of the end of the First World War, Not Yet At Ease is the work of Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, a trio of visual artists who like to break the mould when it comes to art and its various mediums.

Made-up of Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, the trio met at film school in the Indian capital some 30 years ago.

Jeebesh says: "We saw ourselves as documentary filmmakers at the time but soon came to realise we were much more than that and our remit should be opened out."

"We came up with this idea of a project which was about not making a film," Monica adds, "and exploring the ideas of what exactly 'not making a film' could be. We wanted everything that we did to be open ended and not restricted to one medium. Think, ask and feel is what we set about to do and that remains the Raqs credo today."

Internationally renowned, Raqs Media Collective now makes contemporary art, edits books, curates exhibitions, and stages situations.

The trio have collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers, curators, and theatre directors, and has made films. They also co-founded Sarai, the inter-disciplinary and incubatory space at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi – in 2001, where it initiated processes that have left deep impact on contemporary culture in India.

Co-commissioned by Firstsite and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Not Yet At Ease explores the history of psychological disorders resulting from conflict and the stigmas attached to them.

Using poetry and performance, this immersive artwork is inspired by letters written by soldiers during wartime, with Raqs basing this new work on their theory that the symptoms of ‘shell shock’ were first observed by military censors, who noticed a tendency among some Indian soldiers to break out spontaneously into ‘poetry’ in the letters they wrote from battlefields, barracks and hospitals.

This major commission reworks letters, photographs and documents dating back to the First World War, while innovative video and sound installations tell the story of the condition known at the time as ‘shell shock’ and considers how attitudes have changed towards those who carry the psychological burdens of war.

As well as a series of trench-like corridors from which narrow spy-holes open up a series of ethereal video projections, Raqs have embraced Firstsite's long curved wall to create a 'Nerve' mural.

Shuddhabrata says: "You either ignore the wall or embrace it and when we arrived last November, we knew it had to be the latter. The idea was to have all these phrases with the word nerve or nerves taken out intermingled with images of nerves, except that was what medical people at the time of the First World War thought nerves might look like."

"We did a lot of archival research for this project," Jeebesh adds, "from letters to the audio recordings that were made on wax cylinders of Indian soldiers who were being held as prisoners of war."

Not Yet At Ease, which forms part of Firstsite’s programme theme of Conflict and Culture, runs until January 20.

As with many of Firstsite's exhibitions, Not Yet At Ease comes with an extensive programme of events surrounding it, although this one has more than many because of its association with the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War.

Entitled Theory Opera it consists of a series of public events that brings together different stories, ideas and experiences in response to the exhibition. Each event will build on Raqs Media Collective’s extensive research to share energetic discussions that explore the relationship between mental health and conflict both in the past and today.

Highlights include;

The Troth - Thursday, October 25 at 7pm.

A special screening of Akademi Dance Company’s The Troth, a gripping wartime story of love and loss, told through powerful dance theatre, which includes a Q & A with members of the cast.

Battlefield Signals - Thursday, November 22 at 7pm.

Talk by Dr David Omissi who uncovers the letters of Indian Soldiers who served in the First World War, with special guests to bring these writings to life in front of a live audience.

Emotional Legacies - Saturday, December 8 at 3pm.

Colchester-based Flux Dance Collective and Mosaic Poetry respond to the themes of Not Yet At Ease alongside Professor Michael Roper from Essex University, revealing the long-term emotional legacies of the First World War.

Sharing Stories - Saturday, January 19 at 12.30pm.

A unique closing event that sets out to discover the personal stories of soldiers and others during the First World War presented by Shrabani Basu, author of Victoria & Abdul: The True Story Of The Queen’s Closest Confidant. Followed by a traditional Gurkha-style outdoor cooking workshop, led by members of Colchester’s Nepalese Society.