Interpretation, conflict, memorials

Text writing in teams at the Royal Air Force Museum

Writing the words for a major museum gallery is like climbing a mountain.  It is a dauntingly large task that can make even the strongest grow weary. It requires training, careful preparation, a good plan – and, I now know, it is altogether more joyous in good company. I know less than very little about […]

Attaturk – memorials and heritage interpretation

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 […]

Memorials, heritage interpretation and the First World War

 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 […]

Points of balance – interpreting current conflict at the National Army Museum

A month or so I wrote a blog about why interpreters need to tackle difficult and contentious subjects which, rather flatteringly, attracted discussion (see here and here). A lot of people made interesting and thought-provoking comments particularly about the need for neutrality and balance.  It occured to me that, like wisdom, balance may be easier […]

Conflicted stories: why tourists need us to tell the tough tales

It can be hard to understand a country as a visitor.  Some parts of national history, usually the highs and lows, are so well known by the natives that they need no explanation.  These parts of the heritage, arguably the ones that matter most, that give the most insight, can be hard for tourists to […]

Heritage interpretation as monuments and memorials

Last week I was at a fascinating seminar on Spaces, Places and Practices of Remembrance and Memory at the National Memorial Arboretum, one of my favorite places (see here). Lots of food for thought. I found myself in the stimulating and heady company of academics from many subjects (from English Literature to Landscape History, Public […]