Doing heritage at home

Obviously, too many words have already been written trying make sense of, and distract ourselves from, the horrific thing that is happening (a pandemic). There is no point ignoring that, because it defines our waking moments. For this reason I have very mixed feelings about the artistic and cultural sector's responses to it all, because on the one hand, the point of the creative industries is to reflect and respond to what's going on in the world. But on the other, we all desperately need an escape, and institutions like theatres and galleries are well-placed to provide that. And on the OTHER hand (yes, I have three, temporarily, what of it), I have a sense that perhaps these fast-moving yet underfunded industries need a little rest, and should be happy to let everyone just watch some telly for a while. We have enough to do, enough problems to tackle in our own house, before trying to put out Yet More Content. Idk. 
Even so, today I tried to do something cultural to keep my bra…

A future in heritage?

This post is a little different, looking not at one exhibition or venue, but at working in museums. Specifically, this piece is about graduate anxiety, generational anxiety, working-in-the-arts anxiety, financial anxiety, who-even-am-I anxiety…sensing a theme?

In an effort to alleviate some of these things swilling around my brain, I took a leap and went to a conference designed for emerging museum professionals, called Moving On Up and run by the Museums Association. It was, in many ways, completely wonderful: a beautiful venue in the form of the Maritime Museum, Liverpool; the surprise of bumping into a girl from my MA course and getting to know her outside the constrained environment of a seminar where everybody is too sweaty and close together and awkward. The topics were interesting, but I was overwhelmed by the number of people in the room. There were maybe seventy of us, but I could not stop thinking – there aren’t enough jobs for everyone here, let alone the hundreds more who…

MANCHESTER, decolonising, butterflies

To absolutely no one's surprise, I haven't kept up with this blog. Every time I've been to an interesting thing, I've considered what I'd write about the experience, the profound and satisfying conclusions I might draw about culture/society/life blah blah, and decided not to bother. It turns out that this happens to me roughly once a day, everything from a nice bit of graphic design on a poster to a great chat with a museum visitor at work, so if anything, not writing these things down has made me notice their frequency and their value all the more. Sutton Hoo is a particularly good example of this, as I visited on a crisp day in December when the sun was low and the Vikings didn't seem very far out of reach. But I don't think it's a crying shame that I didn't write down the thoughts I had about epic stories, or the landscape, or the (truly excellent) interpretation techniques the National Trust has produced. Maybe just go yourself, if you can, and …