Two links, albeit indirect, to East Kent in this tweet. First it comes from the Hoodeners, a tradition specific to the area. Secondly, there’s a case to be made that some local traditions may have originated in Germanic paganism, and arrived here via migration.
Probably only of interest to scholars & true folklore enthusiasts, but today we discovered this: https://t.co/RMvCPZw9Vu – if you’ve read The Golden Bough (all of it?!), this 1919 Origin of German Carnival Comedy’s a good follow-up.
Many thanks to everyone who attended the pre-launch presentation on Monday in Ramsgate. If you couldn’t make it, I am aiming to record a screencast version (slides plus voiceover) in the next couple of weeks — it will be published on this site, of course.
The event was billed as a consultation, as well as a talk. There were limits to its fulfilment of this purpose as a result of time and, particularly, space (the event was moved to the upstairs room of a pub, where sightlines meant not everyone could see each other — not great for a participative discussion). A number of issues were raised, however, and there seemed to be an appetite for further collaborative exploration. This post aims to do some justice to the issues and lay foundations for the exploration. Inevitably it will miss points: please add them via the comments.
Geographical scope: should this be defined by the River Medway (East Kent) or the River Wantsum (Isle of Thanet)?
Subject matter scope: should this include just factual material, or creative (mythological, fictional) material as well? The latter seemed to be favoured.
How to be inclusive:
solely literary work is off-putting to some — can we explore screen-based media, including apps that might link to maps and geolocated prompts;
events, including walks and performances, are accessible to everyone with reasonable mobility.
Name: is ‘school’ off-putting to some? Can it be softened, as in a school of artists or writers, to avoid institutional associations? What about the questionable results if people search for ‘SEKS’?
Newspaper: low cost means of setting out what we are about. Nice to have something tangible to hand out.
Maps and apps: making the landscapes hidden mythologies discoverable with mobile devices.
Oral storytelling circle: ancient or recent history, or anything in between, fact, fiction and hearsay (from Clive Holland, who is working on the theatre piece, ‘Voices from a Small Island’ based on research in Thanet).
Myth making, indirectly promoting place, past and present; or an informal network investigating perceived corruption, perversion of historic truth (from Brian Daubney).
Creative video and audio dealing with the landscape and people of the area.
Consultation: how to decide where to go from here?
Face-to-face using a more round table approach, and possibly a self-organising method like Open Space.
Online: are comments on a blog post like this sufficient, or do we need something separate and more sophisticated? [For now, please can we start with comments on this post? Go to seks.org.uk/2018/08/01/consultation-presentation-and-next-steps/ if you’re not already there, then go to ‘Leave a Reply’ at the bottom, enter and submit your comments.]
The School of East Kent Studies exists to celebrate the land and the towns of Thanet & East Kent, using a combination of history, mythology, folklore and fiction — literary, visual and musical.
This is a region whose pivotal role in the history of Western Europe — from before the Roman Empire to the Dunkirk evacuation and beyond — too often fades from public view. The School aims to correct this, to re-enchant East Kent, and thus to enhance both native pride and appeal to visitors and incomers.
This will be followed by a Call for Submissions for a first issue of the School’s journal, to be published in late 2018 or early 2019.
The School is an informal association running on volunteer contributions, not an educational institution but closer to a school of artists. Nevertheless, it takes inspiration from ventures like the School of Scottish Studies and the Centre for Icelandic Studies.