A brief cultural history of the world through architecture. Buildings give people a sense of identity and pride - particularly historic buildings and treasure houses such as museums and cities such as York and Richmond. These all suggest longevity and continuity and civilised virtues.
It is for these reasons that historic buildings and museums are highly valued and it is also for these reasons that they are attacked by forces that want to undermine a people’s pride, identity, sense of independence and will to fight. We saw this is recent years in Islamic State’s attacks on ancient sites in Iraq – such as Nimrud and Hatra and in Syria – notably Palmyra.
This talk will be about why history and culture, particularly architecture, matter, and why we have to fight for what is important. Examples of inspirational architecture explored will include locations in Yorkshire - notably York, Richmond and Fountains Abbey. The consequences of the brutal collision between culture, conflict and politics will be illustrated by reference to what is currently happening in Ukraine as well as the attacks on Palmyra and in Iraq.
There will be a focus on the wonders that survive but will argue that survival in many cases depends on our vigilance. With travel now more difficult, there needs to be a determination to keep memory alive. When a building or place is forgotten by the public its loss becomes easier.
Such talks can help banish forgetfulness or lethargy, that can prove fatal and play a part in the battle to save history, memory and architectural beauty.
Presented in association with Clive Conway Productions.
Venue: Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple
Date: 16th September 2023
Time: 7:00 PM