Posts

Showing posts from 2022

Tribute to Barry Lopez

Image
Thanks to Point Reyes Books for organising this webinar. A special tribute to Barry Lopez (1945-2020), featuring John Luther Adams, Bathsheba Demuth, Jane Hirshfield, Robert Macfarlane, Colum McCann, and Rebecca Solnit, along with Barry’s wife Debra Gwartney. John Freeman served as moderate the conversation. This event was presented by Point Reyes Books, in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company, Emergence Magazine, and Orion Magazine.  This recording has been edited due to copyright issues. In the original, John Luther Adams' tribute was followed by a recording of "Sky With Four Suns." The event concluded with an excerpt from "Horizons," Jeremy Seifert's film about Barry Lopez, which can be found on the Emergence Magazine website. See later in the post. I've read Barry's final collection of essays which came out last weekend, and it is really rather wonderful and memorable, and shocking... and it will make you cry. Get yourself a copy... Here'

GeogPod: National Fieldwork Week

Image
One of the best ways to appreciate the landscape is to head out on fieldwork.  The latest GeogPod has been released and it features Paula Richardson and I talking about the GA's National Research Report and how that fed into the development of the National Fieldwork Week.  This starts on Monday the 6th of June. Episode 53 of #GeogPod is now available! In this episode, @GAGeogger speaks with @GeoBlogs and Paula Richardson on fieldwork Listen now at https://t.co/hLSfHDfVhp Series 9 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by @CambridgeInt #geography #nationalfieldworkweek #podcast #education pic.twitter.com/sk62VGtEQS — Geographical Association (@The_GA) June 4, 2022 Thanks to John Lyon for hosting - see if you can spot the question I wasn't expecting... :) 

Our Place in Space

Image
I've been following the latest installation by Oliver Jeffers. It allows people to find out their Place in Space: to put Earth into its context. "The only place where... stories are told." Astronauts have the 'overview effect' when they look down on the planet and Oliver wanted to show the scale of the Solar System. Oliver  has created a walk way which runs through the city of Derry and is shortly heading for Cambridge. See more details here .  If you can’t get to Belfast or Cambridge this summer, there is a free app which allows you to follow the walk virtually. Download it from this link. One of the aims of the walk is to consider scale – an important idea in geography too.   There are also teaching resources to download exploring some of the ideas, which may be of interest even if you don’t follow the trail. Let us know if you take part with your class, or perhaps your family. The trail is about humanity's place in the solar system. It's going to Cambr

LIDAR

The new Bruce Hornsby album has a song called LIDAR for all the geographers out there. Lyrics are all about 3D mapping and open data sets - a little niche :) Scanning forest canopies, evidence to be found They're free online in the public domain Mapping truth, learning skills, through the laze Big fan of Bruce since 1986, and seen him live three times in that time on his rare trips to the UK...

GI Pedagogy Training Course - 4-6 July

Image
Last week I had a meeting of the GI Pedagogy group of partners - which is funded by an ERASMUS+ grant, given by the British Council. We have been working on resources and an online teacher training course.  We now have an opportunity for you to join us for a face to face event in Madrid. Free training course for secondary teachers - introducing an Innovative Pedagogical Model for Teaching using GIS, July 4-6 2022, Madrid, @GIPedagogy project, some travel grants available - find out more and register at https://t.co/8uy2lRNfpA — karl_donert (@karldonert) May 19, 2022 The Registration form is here, and you can also request a first-come first-served grant of €200 to help with the cost of attending if you are outside of Spain. It would be great to have you there. Happy to answer any further questions as well. 

The Clock Winds Down

Image
Thanks to Anne Dolan for the tipoff to this powerful new music from Christy Moore.

Singh Sisters

Image
This exhibition was shown on local news in the East of England. It opened this weekend and is on until September. It is taking place in Colchester and I hope to try to get down there. It is called Slaves of Fashion. It explores hidden narratives of Empire, Colonialism, conflict, slavery and luxury lifestyle through the lens of India's historical textile trade and their relevance to modern day legacies and debates around ethical consumerism, racism and the politics of trade. Following its huge success at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery (where it attracted over 105,000 visitors) and Wolverhampton Art Gallery in 2018, the exhibition is planned to tour further venues - both in the UK and abroad.

Goldfrapp at the Royal Festival Hall

Image
My friend and colleague Claire had to wait two years to see this concert, but wow was it worth the wait... Goldfrapp's debut album came out 20 years ago, and this was a tour to celebrate that album, along with some other classics. The venue was the Royal Festival Hall, which has the most incredible sound, helped by the sound design and the Q Strings, who were awesome in a James Bond style way... the album is also a classic. Here are some favourites from the evening, captured by people who thankfully were not sat near me...

Stanley Tucci

Image
At their best, food programmes are also social history, culture, anthropology and much more. This is one of those programmes. Catch up with it on iPlayer. Tonight's programme was 45 minutes of Florentine splendour.

Sidelines

New Bruce Hornsby album due in March - always excellent news... this track has links to COVID in its theme and lyrics...

Taylor Hawkins, RIP

Image
 Times like these... 

An Hour before it's Dark

Image
Out today... I bought Marillion's first album on the day of release in March 1983, and saw the band play live quite a few times, including some early gigs with Fish... Grendel and all. The new album came out today, and references climate change, COVID, Greta Thunberg, blood diamonds in Sierra Leone and a whole range of other issues of the modern day, with a reminder that as well as being kind to ourselves it might be better to be hard on ourselves... Interestingly, I'm seeing Tangerine Dream later this month, and their special guest guitarist for the final improvisation session of the concert is Steve Rothery: the Marillion gutarist. Here's the video for the opening track: 'Be Hard on Yourself'

Threads

Image
This is not related to the 1980s TV drama featuring a nuclear bomb being dropped on Sheffield... Threads is a new online game from the Global Goals Centre , which has had the involvement of a number of organisations. Thanks to Verity Jones for the tipoff. Go here to play the game. The activity explores the product life cycle of an item of clothing, with different routes depending on what the product is, and several other decisions that are taken during the course of the journey... This is revealed at the end. Usefully, the team has also created a set of lesson plans which are helpful for those in KS2 and KS3, and with a strong cross-curricular / Global Goals theme. There are 8 lessons, each with a PPT and an accompanying overview document. Here are the details of the team that created the game and accompanying resources. This is well worth taking a look at, as there might be something here that can slot nicely into, or alongside existing curriculum content and activities.

UEA Green Film Festival

Image
An opportunity for students to showcase their films. My son is in the 2nd year of his Film and TV degree, and here's a shortened version of a film he made on Biodiversity on UEA campus. Biodiversity - produced by Sam Parkinson (School of Art, Media and American Studies Student) @FTM_UEA @AMAUEA @uniofeastanglia #environment #biodiversity pic.twitter.com/tZalXxX5yQ — UEA Green Film Festival (@UEAgreenfilms) March 1, 2022

RIP Jan Pieńkowski

Image
Creator of some memorable books from my youth...

GeoGuessr

Image
I've just sorted a PRO subscription to the GeoGuessr site for the department. Several students requested it a while back. I used to play this when it first came out in 2013. It was developed by Anton Wallén , and was originally free, but has moved to a subscription based model and now has a thriving community and a whole range of boards and challenges, including trying to identify countries in a streak as well as a daily challenge. There is also the option to create your own map using the Map Maker tool. There are lots of sites giving tips on how to identify countries from a range of clues. It also makes use of Google Street View, which doesn't cover the whole world of course. A map of the coverage is here. Interestingly, the game gained a lot of additional popularity during lockdown when people started playing it as a way of 'travelling the world'. This article looks at the value of playing the game, particularly during lockdown. There are some very sophisticated grou

Perec, Psychogeography and Huddersfield

Image
This programme was last broadcast in 2021 , but is being broadcast on Radio 3 again today. You will be able to hear it from tomorrow evening, or perhaps Monday morning. It is presented by Kevin Boniface , a postman based in Huddersfield who has written books on his psychogeographical adventures for uniformbooks. It connects perfectly with my conference theme of Everyday Geographies , and also the work of Georges Perec and his books which look at the infra-ordinary.

Look what you could have won

Image
A nice programme on Bullseye.  Listen on BBC Sounds. What does it tell us about changes in culture? Which sectors of society were excluded?

Talisk - Dawn

Image
Good to have a new Taslisk album out today...  DAWN by Talisk

Ice

Image
“The defenseless earth could only lie waiting for its destruction.” This is a book unlike any that I have read before in its style and atmosphere.  It is set in a future (?) world of unnamed countries which are facing the threat of being overtaken by ice, the result of some unspecified nuclear catastrophe.  The protagonist, who has a number of issues himself  which emerge during the book,  is obsessed by a mysterious woman with silver hair - a "glass girl" of "albino paleness" who he pursues through wartorn territories, escaping from numerous perilous situations and always drawn on by the need to see the woman and perhaps 'possess' her. Anna Kavan has written a number of other books but this was her last one, and the most well known. There are plenty of theories of the real meaning of this quite surreal book which I discovered on reading more. I waited until reading the book as I wanted no spoilers. It has a dreamlike quality and has been described as slips

Rura - In Praise of Home

Image
This 2018 album from the Scottish folk band RURA is excellent .  The theme for the whole album is home and what it means to people, but it also invokes the Scottish landscape - the wider sense of home for all Scots. The title track and a later track includes some nice sampled reflections on home - the only lyrics on the album. The words are explored here in a nice reflection on their meaning. It's an addictive listen. In Praise of Home by RURA

KLF and the North

Image
I remember first hearing this one night in around 2008-9 while in a Travelodge in Sheffield. I'd started work for the GA, and was working through some accommodation options.  It was a late night and snowing, and I was listening to the local radio when this came on. I was familiar with the work of the KLF but had never heard this before. Here is a version of the track I heard, which then segued into Jerusalem... Places mentioned: Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Grim_Up_North

Winter Olympics 2022

Image
The Winter Olympics are underway, fake snow and all, and with a great deal of international condemnation of China's treatment of indigenous groups, and the IOC's decision to award the games to them in the first place. Which well known painting has a detail (shown below) which includes some of the sports that will be featured in the coming weeks?

Svalbard's Cultural Heritage

Image
This has been threatened by the Climate Emergency.  

Tull - a return to form

Image
I've been a fan of Jethro Tull's music since around 1980, when I used to take their albums out of the Rotherham Public Library (although the middle 'l' was often tipp-exded out of the cardboard carriers that were used to take the LPs home)  The first Tull album for over 20 years (apart from a Christmas Album) came out yesterday and it's worth a listen on your favourite streaming platform (perhaps one that doesn't give voice to anti vaxxers)

Geography Blog - the first 4 weeks done

Image
I'm now 4 weeks into my new blogging project for 2022, which has a connection with my GA Presidential theme of 'Everyday Geographies'. I've always been interested in films and have seen a great many of them - for some years I had a large Halliwell's Guide where I would underline the titles of films I'd seen and try and track down the gaps. I also used to go to the cinema a great deal more regularly than I have the time for now. I've got over half a century of film viewing behind me now, and the blog is going to attempt to make some connections between the artform of cinema and the discipline of geography. I've included quite a few little challenges as well so far, along with interactive elements, and those will continue to be added as we move through the year ahead. Please head over and take a look and feel free to get involved and comment.

Laurie Anderson and the City

Image
Laurie Anderson's series of Norton Lectures are up online. They are dense and packed with images and ideas. Here's the one one on 'The City' - each one is based on a theme, and all are available to view again on YouTube. Plenty of idea here to delve into with each one.

Radical Landscapes at Tate Liverpool during 2022

Image
I look forward to catching up with this exhibition at Tate Liverpool, which runs from May to September 2022. From the Tate Liverpool website: Radical Landscapes, a major exhibition exploring our connections to the rural landscapes of Britain. Featuring works such as Ruth Ewan’s Back to the Fields 2015, an installation of live plants, and Jeremy Deller’s green neon Cerne Abbas sculpture , this show expands on the traditional, picturesque portrayals of the landscape, presenting art that reflects the diversity of Britain’s landscape and communities. Discover playful and political artworks which reveal untold histories from the last century and investigate themes such as trespass, land use and the climate emergency. Encounter over 150 works including key pieces such as Tacita Dean’s Majesty 2006, Oceans Apart 1989 by Ingrid Pollard and Anwar Jalal Shemza’s Apple Tree 1962. Radical Landscapes presents rural spaces as sites of artistic inspiration and action, and a heartland for ideas of fre