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.]
- Anglo Saxon Chronicles
- Excavation report from Cliffs End Farm, Isle of Thanet
- Digging at the Gateway: from prehistory to Caesar and beyond (The archaeology of the East Kent Access Road, Thanet) — free download
- Jane Austen’s Sanditon (a careful reading may give a more nuanced sense of Austen’s feelings about Ramsgate!)
- [with thanks to Brian Daubney for most of these sources]
One thought on “Consultation presentation and next steps”
Some responses received by email (numbering relates to the numbered points in main post):
1. Geographical boundaries will invariably limit and be circumvented.
If one chose a word like Gateway used by Bede, it could encompass Thanet, Kent, Albion or Britain
2. The narrative of place, no matter how factual, will create myth, evolve from it nurture it.
3. The area is rich in literary, theatrical, filmic and artistic interpretation.
a. Maps offer a wealth of interest and points for development.
b. Performance and events provoke response. Walks offer a longer term answer.
Their physical nature creates bonding into groups and streams of immediate disparity.
4. Possibly: the enhancing scholastic, artistic and intellectual nature of a school will auto-filter the group by self selection.
Any titles with academic, political or other connotations as SEKS have as many reasons for preference as rejection.
The word group was just used as having no bias whatsoever but little appeal.
‘Gateway Group’ – could work if defined by a second line, describing scope, aspirations and possibilities. Not a proposal: a thought.
It was not preconceived but devising names, images or aims has been a professional source of income and pleasure.
A. Manifesto creations ought to be a field of art study. Picasso was allegedly furious to discover that Russians had created as many as 20 differently defined schools of expressionism whilst he and Braque had virtually moved on.
B, C, D, E all fine