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Kick-ass jewellery and kicked out relationships – two things I will remember from my time with Zagreb museums and their labels. Visiting museums always make me think about what the words in museums are for – one of my favourite things to think about.  Zagreb’s Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Broken Relationships take very different approaches to […]

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Beware of simple solutions and clear cut categories. Maybe beware particularly when you are dealing with conflict. Black and white are hard to sustain. I am prising apart the roles of heritage interpretation and remembrance/ memorialisation as I believe the two often become conflated. In my last blog post  I explained how I have come […]

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 At first, working with remembrance, with its focus on memorials, felt so familiar I couldn’t distinguish it from heritage interpretation. Both interpretation and remembrance can about remembering and keeping a story alive. They both speak to us of what happened, who was involved and what that means for who we are now. A year ago […]

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They liked it. Visitors really liked it. They walked into the room and said ‘Wow!’ out loud. That was what we had wanted, after all this was Window on Wild Lindisfarne, or WoW for short. Yes, it was a tiny room, but one that had been very important to us.  This space had to convince visitors […]

Why is a heritage interpreter like a comedian?

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Does laughter have a role in heritage interpretation?  Would a course in stand-up comedy help me understand what it is? This week I was interviewed as part of a research project into the social psychology of laughter. I was invited not because I had been laughing too loudly in public (yet again!) but because I […]

‘Living the woodland life’ with Ben Laws

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Yesterday Peter and I spent the day in Prickly Nut Wood with Ben Laws, listening to him talk about his ‘forest life’ and his woodsmanship. I almost always find being with people in a place that they are strongly connected to, moving. This was exceptional. It may have been life-changing. Ben is extraordinarily connected with […]

Sorry, QR code, it’s not you .. it’s me

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QR code – speaking as a heritage interpreter, I think our relationship is ending, or at least changing. The honeymoon is over as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got to do a lot more to pull your weight if we’re going to hang out together in the future. Firstly, QR code, I accuse you and, […]

Heritage interpretation and cultural tourism – some answers.

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Interpretation often is aimed at visitors.  It can be designed for local people but that’s a different game. Often it is aimed at people who are ‘not from round here’.  Interpretation can play a significant role in helping them understand the place they are visiting. This post follows on from my recent one where I […]

Why interpretation is part of sustainable cultural tourism

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Cultural tourism is a big international industry that is made up of many small, often tiny, micro-businesses.  I find that rather appealing. I like the fact that my work in heritage interpretation is a cog in the mighty wheel of cultural tourism and, at the same time, involves working with dedicated small businesses, and helping […]

‘CItizen science’ and wildlife interpretation: holding on to the ‘nerdy bits’

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It’s been a good year for me and butterflies.  We have seen a lot more of each other than we have done for the last few summers.  Part of this is that there are (surely?) more butterflies about in this lovely sunny summer than in the last two wet, cold and dismal ones.  But I am also paying […]