A heritage in words

The shared community of fanship has increased exponentially as the internet permits the creation of communities of interest regardless of geographical distance. For these communities, shared works of fiction function as the intangible heritage which created and connected the members. They share an emotional link to characters, places or events which they have simultaneously all experienced, yet have never physically visited. … More A heritage in words

An invisible heritage

It is Halloween. The veils between our world and the world of the supernatural are thin. Our streets will be filled with strange, other-worldly apparitions demanding bribes to leave nearby humans in peace for another year. Normal religious belief systems are overtaken by anti-religion, the otherworldly forces devoted to disruption, ahierarchy, and the subversion of Christian morality. … More An invisible heritage

But world enough and time

I have been thinking recently about concepts like vintage, familiarity, and the fundamental temporality of aesthetics. The unthinking ability of people to interpret familiar items and symbols within a socialised construction of their meaning is something I’ve discussed before, but the power of these constructs to change imperceptibly yet often rapidly can still surprise me. … More But world enough and time

Why is ivory less acceptable than colonial acquisitions?

In 2014 Prince William is said to have told primatologist Jane Goodall that he would like to see all ivory in the Royal Collection destroyed.
How much worse would the furore have been if he had instead said that given the choice he would return all artefacts taken during colonial conquests to their country of origin? … More Why is ivory less acceptable than colonial acquisitions?

New Year, old mindset: how heritage can change the way we see the future

From 1984 to the Hunger Games, the future has been a blank sheet which writers can use to show the dystopian possibilities of current situations. Yet apart from dire warnings about the consequences of climate change, government surveillance, and rebellious AI, the future is unpeopled, blank where the past is vivid scenery.  … More New Year, old mindset: how heritage can change the way we see the future