Terror & Tranquillity Retrospect Journal
Contents Societies 01-02
History Classics Archaeology Retrospect Arts & Heritage LAMPS Medieval Re-enactment Archaeology Outreach Project
Academic 03-15 Prospects for the Afterlife in Ancient Greece The Reality of Jewish Persecution and Expulsion in Europe, 1050-1330 The Franklin Expedition of 1845: Terror in the Arctic In the Name of Capitalism: The American Response to the Falkland Crisis Between Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Buddhist Interaction with Freudian Psychoanalysis Africa’s Haven of Peace? Elections, Politics and Violence in Post-colonial East Africa
Features 15-19 Silence and Screams: The Interpretation of Punishment Devices in Museums Italy: Natural Beauty of the Azure Masks Its Disruptive Past Holland: The Glorious Days of ‘Tulip Mania’ Zimbabwe: An English-Indian Summer in the Southern African Winter A History of British Immigration Policy: Constructing the ‘Enemy Within’ Islamic State’s Capture and Destruction of the Ancient Syrian Site of Palmyra Saudi Arabia and the Destruction of Islamic Cultural Heritage
Reviews 20-22 All Quiet on the Western Front Waiting for Godot Photography: A Victorian Sensation at the National Museum of Scotland Macbeth Woman in Gold Suffragette
Historical Fiction 23-25 Mouse Trap Farm War Stories: Inspired by my Grandma The Eclipse Terror Tyranny, Tranquil Tyranny
Arts and Heritage Crossroads Mercat Tours Baillie Gifford
Jo Amos Elle Arscott Erin Baillie Morgan Boharski Hilary Bell Liska Crofts Deana Davis Enzo DeGregorio Iona Diver Dan Greenwood Dr Christopher Harding Lucy Hughes Dr Emma Hunter Jessica L. Leeper Lauren Letch Bianca Maggs Isobel McConville Flo McMullen Helena McNish Matthew Mitchell Tim Moller Mathew Nicolson Rachel Nicolson James Page Maddy Pribanova Tamsin Prideaux Frances Roe Jovan Rydder Francesca Street Lewis Twiby Georgia Vullinghs Robert Yee
Editor in Chief // Kerry Gilsenan Deputy Editors // Katherine Dixon & Nicol Ogston Secretary // Maddy Pribanova Design Editor // Mary Wienckowski Senior Academic Editor // Anna McKay Senior Features Editor // Charles Nurick Senior Reviews Editor // Frances Roe Academic Editors // Ivana Cernanova, Enzo W. DeGregorio & Rebecca Rosser Features Editors // Liska Crofts & Francesca Street Reviews Editor // Helena McNish Fiction Editor // Hilary Bell Societies Editor // Mathew Nicolson Postgraduate Editor // Alice Williamson Radio Editor // Lauren Porter Media Officers // Elle Arscott & Claire Godfrey Fundraising Officers // Sarah Beamish & Calum Mackie Schools Officers // Charlotte Lauder & Bethany Wickington Page 18 and 24 Illustrations // Sylwia Kowalozyk Stock images // Internet Stock Book Images
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Editor Kerry Gilsenan It has been an absolute pleasure to be managing Retrospect for this AU/WI issue with such an overwhelming response to our ‘Terror & Tranquillity’ submissions call. This theme of opposites, allowing writers to address either or both topics in their work, proved limitless and a brilliant springboard from which to address issues of contemporary and historical interest. Even out with these pages, more outstanding content can be found online at www.retrospectjournal. co.uk. Since our Annual General Meeting in March, appointing myself, Katherine, Nicol and Maddy to officeholder positions, the Retrospect team has grown in number and strength now boasting a committee of 25 members. With new, enthusiastic and talented team members has come great change. A triumph of this issue has been the opening of a historical fiction section under Fiction Editor, Hilary, helping to diversify Retrospect’s content with even more scope for creativity. Each section has also diversified. The efforts of our academic editors have produced an international exchange of ideas with a submission from Robert Yee, Editor in Chief of Vanderbilt Historical Review, and input from two of our own academic staff – Dr Emma Hunter and Dr Chris Harding. Our travel submission option proved particularly popular with features writers, while reviews, as always, explored some unmissable cultural highlights in Edinburgh and beyond. Retrospect also took to the airwaves under the careful direction of Radio Editor, Lauren Porter, creating innovative outlets for history, classics and archaeology content through an entertaining podcast series. Outside of the editorial board, Retrospect has also seen a successful semester of fundraising events, and continued our local school initiative. We proudly sing our own praises on social media with the aid of the dedicated media duo, Elle and Claire, reaching new audiences and bringing greater attention to the fantastic work of our writers. On behalf of myself and the Retrospect team, we thank you for your interest in Retrospect and hope you enjoying reading this issue as much as we enjoyed making it. A special thank you also goes to Baillie Gifford and Mercat Tours for supporting us, helping to provide a platform for the development of writers, editors and designers to realise their potential.
Design Editor Mary Wienckowski It has been a wonderful experience designing the current issue of Retrospect Journal. My aim with the design of this current issue was to play with the contrast between modern, minimalist sensibilities alongside the staple look and style of academic journals of the past, playing with that history and refreshing it for a modern design. The cover design was inspired by my own favorite images of Lovecraftian cosmic horror which I felt coincided with the theme of ‘terror and tranquillity’ in a simple get graphic way. Many thanks to Retrospect Team, our contributors and our readers.
Hello Retrospect Readers! We have kindly been given the opportunity to share with you all the exciting things ArchSoc has been getting up to and what else is yet to come! Our first events got the archaeological juices flowing with a fascinating and topical lecture on the destruction of heritage sites in Iraq from Professor Peter Stone, as well as a tour of the Early People gallery in the National Museum with Dr Alison Sheridan. We also had a brilliant lecture on the archaeology of Middle Earth by Dr Charlotta Hillerdal that awoke the passion of our many Tolkien fans. With more lectures on Kent’s Cavern and Chalcolithic Cyprus, we had topics for everyone this semester. We had the great David Breeze join us for a trip around the ‘Seats of Power’ sites around the Lothians including the Antonine wall and Linlithgow Palace. It was a huge success despite coach setbacks and a late start, and we hope to have another trip for you in the coming year so keep an ear out! In week two we pitted our best blue Pictish face paint against Classics society togas for our Picts vs Romans pub crawl. Other semester two highlights included a movie night, pub quiz, a joint HCAR social, and our annual Christmas meal to look forward to. Come anyway for the free food! We look forward to seeing you in the future.
Retrospect has entered this academic year with a vibrant semester full of exciting activities and innovative ideas to move our society forward. We began with a busy but rewarding two days at the Societies Fair, meeting hundreds of new arrivals at the university. Our first event was our regular Retrospectacular Pub Quiz, a fun night that was highly enjoyed by all. We also organised a potluck dinner, giving everyone a chance to chat about our various historical interests and unwind. Submissions for this semester’s Autumn publication, ‘Terror and Tranquillity’, have been as high-quality as they have been numerous; this edition in front of you looks set to be one of our best yet. We enjoyed creating it – we hope you enjoy reading it! Next semester looks set to be even more exciting than the first. In addition to the publication of our Spring edition we will be bringing back our successful 24-hour publication project during Innovative Learning Week in February, in which an edition of Retrospect is written, edited and designed within a single day. We look forward to collaborating with student radio station FreshAir on this project. If you would like to become involved you can find us on Facebook, Twitter at @RetrospectHCA or email at email@example.com. We are always looking for new writers –if you have any ideas for submissions, be sure to let us know!
This year, the History Society has been reaching heights we previously could only have dreamed of. We have a talented committee and an incredibly dedicated student body whose hard work is now being brought to fruition in an incredible way. Freshers’ week began the year with a bang, with over 200 people at our annual pub crawl, as well as a meet and greet and the traditional trip to the castle. Since then, we have organised lectures, toured Edinburgh’s historical sites and even cheesed it up in Potterrow. We are continuing to organise new and exciting events every week. The History Society aims to be a community who can provide relief from the strains of university life in a wide range of ways. We want to help students dance away their stress, leave essay woes at the library, whilst also providing a practical source of academic support. We strive to improve students’ experience at the University of Edinburgh and help them develop vital career opportunities. Most importantly, we are a group of students who share a love of history which allows us to be our nerdy selves. We had our glamorous Winter Ball this November. The year ahead will see a trip to the Czech Republic. You can expect a recordbreaking amount of events to throw yourself into – make sure you don’t miss out on being part of the best year of the History Society yet!
Salve! It is the start of a new year, and here at the Classics Society we have hit the ground running! After an enormously successful turn at the societies fair, we have been very excited to see a lot of new faces joining us and it has been great to welcome these into the HCA family. Our new local establishment is Andrew Usher & Co. on West Nicolson Street. We have had some great turnouts at our regular pub nights there on Thursdays and even had the chance to name our very own craft beer – dubbed ‘Et Tu Brewte’! Under the guidance of our social secretaries, we have had all sorts of fantastic events including a toga pub crawl, a scavenger hunt, and a devilishly hard classics pub quiz. Look out for many more cracking socials! Following the enormously successful Classics Society trip to Athens in 2015, we are currently planning to do a similar excursion to Rome in Innovative Learning week 2016 – keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details. Also, potential performers should look out for the Classics Society’s very own variety show,‘Clastonbury’, taking place next semester. In addition to these big plans are our regular socials and academic events that are well worthwhile for anyone with an interest in the Ancient World. For any further information, please be sure to visit our Facebook page, get in contact with our president at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us in the pub on Thursday Evenings.
Iona Diver - President
Lucy Hughes - President
Mathew Nicolson - Societies Editor
James Page - President
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Arts & Heritage Volunteer Group Lauren Letch - Publicity Manager
Semester 1 has been busy for all of us at the Arts and Heritage Volunteer Group. Following our relaunch, we kicked off the year with a successful stand at the EUSA Volunteers Fair in Fresher’s Week with many new sign ups. We followed this up with a Fresher’s Scavenger Hunt, which gave our new members a chance to explore the heritage sites of Edinburgh. We also hosted our open committee meeting to welcome everyone who wanted to get involved in the team. We quickly got to work on our first trip of the year – a visit to the University’s Anatomy Museum on Wednesday 21 October. Following on from a similar successful visit last year, we had exclusive access to the museum, including the opportunity to sign up as a volunteer. The trip was once again a great triumph. The anatomy theme continued this semester as in November we visited the newly refurbished Surgeon’s Hall. The doors of the museum have been closed for almost two years and the Hall had had a £4million revamp. Our working relationship with the Surgeon’s Hall also has exciting potential as they have begun looking into volunteering roles for students for the very first time. Looking forward into the New Year, we have several career-based events in store to get students ready for upcoming summer applications in the arts and heritage sector.
Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society Morgan Boharski & Bianca Maggs - Events Secretary & General Member
LAMPS aims to promote the academic study of the Late Antique and Medieval periods at the University of Edinburgh, whilst also encouraging interdisciplinary connections between students. We host weekly academic seminars on Monday evenings where our members have an opportunity to present their current research and works in progress. In the past year, LAMPS has travelled to various heritage sites in Scotland that pertain to the themes of our seminars. For the Autumn 2015 theme, Borders and Boundaries, trips were organised to the Border Abbeys and Hadrian’s Wall. In May 2015, LAMPS led a coach trip to many historical sites where the TV series Outlander was filmed. We visited Blackness and Doune Castles exploring the impact of popular culture on Scottish heritage. In addition to travelling throughout Scotland, LAMPS visits heritage sites in and around Edinburgh, such as Craigmillar Castle, Linlithgow Palace, and Rosslyn Chapel. We have also forged a relationship with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, providing new and exciting opportunities for our members. Additionally, LAMPS hosts various social events outside of academia, such as pub nights and seasonal celebrations including summer barbecues, Halloween costume contests, and Christmas festivities! Upcoming Events: 5 December 2015: Christmas Lunch at Edinburgh Castle 7 June – 10 June 2016: Summer Trip to Iona For more information please visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or email us at email@example.com.
Archaeology Outreach Project
EAOP is a student run volunteer group which aims to provide children in Edinburgh and the wider community with an insight into archaeology. We hope that through our range of hands-on activities (including examining animal bones, making pots, dig pits and artefact drawings) we will ignite an interest in local heritage, history and archaeology. This semester we have held over 12 sessions in different primary schools around Edinburgh and the surrounding area. Alongside our regular sessions, we have also had volunteers working with outside organisations at events such as DigIt!2015’s Explorathon and helping at the National Mining Museum’s Activity Day. This was a great way for the children to see how bigger institutes work and gain valuable experience. We welcome people from all degree levels/subject backgrounds to join, as it is a great way to get involved out with your studies. There are no mandatory time commitments and it is a chance to practice and develop important skills. If you don’t study archaeology it is a way to learn something new and if you do, it gives you the chance to share your knowledge and get you involved with the growing public outreach sector. If you would like to become part of EAOP, send us an email at eaoproject@gmail. com. For more details of past activities and updates throughout the year, you can check out our website or our Facebook page.
The Edinburgh Medieval Society attempts to recreate various aspects of life between the years 600 and 1600CE. There are weekly talks and workshops on topics as diverse as fletching, medieval medicine and Anglo Saxon poetry. There are two feasts a year, one of which was held on 14 November. The feast consisted of eight courses of food cooked to authentic recipes. Examples include Almond Greens, a vegetable dish made with almond milk, and Twisted Entrails, a sweet dish made from fruit and designed to look like a savoury meat dish. Between each course there was great entertainment, including medieval music, dancing and games. The main entertainment for the evening was the performance of a mummers’ play, George and the Dragon. This is a comedic play, which during medieval times was traditionally performed at Christmas by a troupe of mummers – low-born actors. The Dragon itself was made by one of the society’s members for a previous feast at which a play adaptation of Beowulf was performed. If you are interested in coming along, our meetings are every Wednesday at 7.00pm in the Pleasance. We also have a medieval martial arts lesson on Sundays at 1.30pm in the Meadows, opposite the Edinburgh Bicycle Coop. If you wish to receive emails about events, including future feasts, please email the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Nicolson - Group Leader
Deana Davis - Secretary
Academic There are a lot of expectations associated with the afterlife. Many people hope for a reward for good behaviour, or at least some compensation for all their mortal suffering. Others focus on it as the means of punishment for those who caused the suffering. The situation for Ancient Greeks was a little different. A substantial amount of written and artistic works from Greek culture have survived to give us an idea of the Ancient Greek perspective on death. Though certainly no less devout than the devout today – religion was embedded in the social fabric of Greece – ostensibly, their prospects for life after death were poor. The afterlife, as is the case with contemporary religious counterparts, was contained within a single post-mortal realm: Hades. Here, again comparable to current religious ontologies, a judgement is taken to divide the more and the less deserving. Yet to project modern preconceptions of what constitutes a ‘good’ afterlife on to the Greek system – and by that token discount other experiences as ‘bad’ – is both distinctly unhelpful and misunderstands the part of death in the wider context of Greek religious belief. A soul’s progress immediately after it died relatively closely parallels Christian thought on the subject: everyone ascends to congregate at the entrance to the realm of Hades – except perhaps those planning to head off to Elysium, which will be addressed later. Hades is not only the name of the place but also the name of the god who runs it. If Homer can be trusted on the subject of what is found as one makes their way initial entrance into the afterlife, things don’t look promising: it is a dark inverse of the gates of Heaven or Hell. At the start of Aeneid Book Six, Virgil pictures Aeneas’ descent through the vestibule of Hades: ‘On they went in darkness, beneath the lonely night, through shadows and the empty halls of Hades in his lifeless Kingdom... ‘ Virgil follows this with a colourful description of all the unpleasant personifications of suffering which lurk in the doorways of Erebus, Hades’ upper realm. Virgil’s word alone for Greek conceptions of the afterlife is admittedly problematic: aside from anything else, he was a Roman. Yet the way Virgil’s poetry depicts Hades is – with artistic embellishments – nevertheless an apt summary of the sort of things that Greeks like Homer and Hesiod wrote. Homer tells us what to expect once a soul has passed through the vestibule. Deciding to visit the oracular (but dead) Teiresias, Odysseus takes his company all the way to the gates of Hades – through which they could see lots to interest them. This interest must have intensified when in the course of conversation Teiresias announced that none of the crew had long to live. In front of them sat the gold-sceptre-wielding Minos, King, demigod and more to the point: judge of Hades. By the fifth century BC, Aiakos and Rhadamanthys had been added to the score of judges; Aiakos plays a sizeable role in Aristophanes’ The Frogs and both are mentioned by Plato, Rhadamanthys is named by Homer as the ruler of Elysium.
Prospects for the Afterlife in Ancient Greece
By Liska Crofts
Significantly for later mystery cults, the Eleusinian prince Triptolemus occasionally appears as a fourth judge. When Odysseus showed up, Minos was as usual occupied with the sorting of souls, separating the deserving for transportation to the Fields of Elysium (Heaven), the unremarkable to the Plains of Asphodel (Purgatory) and the remarkably undeserving to the Pits of Tartarus (Hell). Perhaps unfortunately for the dead souls of Ancient Greece, at this point the theological similarity to Christianity breaks down. Hades is no meritocracy. Much like a corrupt government system, the Homeric concept of judgement reserves good living in Elysium for the wellconnected few. Its removed status from the majority of the underworld was unambiguously exemplified through its description as an isle. For example, Minos seems to have largely ignored the dead masses, who were swept straight off to Asphodel. This seems odd to those of us who buy into the modern notion that most people are fundamentally good: good people perhaps ought to go to Heaven (Elysium) and not Purgatory. Nor did this only apply to ordinary Greeks. Despite his exceptional military prowess and loyalty, the ghost of Achilles’ great friend Patroclus is also left to wander the grey Plains; his ghost appears to Achilles in a dream urging burial so that he can cross the Styx and mingle there with the flitting images of the dead. Meanwhile in the Odyssey, Menelaus, despite not being as reputable as Patroclus or having had as significant an input to beginning the Trojan War, was assured of his own plot in the Fields of Elysium. There were perks to having Zeus for a father-in-law. The same applied to Tartarus, initially the prison of high-profile enemies to the gods such as the Titans. In order to be cast into Tartarus an individual had to attract special attention. Even murdering someone didn’t necessitate such punishment: in the plot of Aeschylus’ Eumenides, Orestes escaped eternal punishment for his blood-crime and throughout the play the emphasis is on punishment of the guilty in life by the hounding of the Furies. Confinement to Tartarus was often the result of an act that was directly offensive to the gods. As Tantalus discovered, serving the Olympians your own son in a stew was sufficient. Presumably the need to create highly inventive punishments also limited numbers; the same Tantalus was chained to starve for eternity just out of the reach of some succulent pears and a particularly refreshing spring.
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Here lies the origin of the word ‘tantalise’. Why, one might ask, did these great heroes carry on honouring the gods with great deeds and sacrifices if they were aware that there was to be no reward? In fact the fate of Patroclus turns out to be a good illustration of exactly why. At the departure of Patroclus’ ghost, Achilles laments: “Oh wonder! Even in the house of Hades there is left something, a soul and an image, but there is no real heart of life in it.” It was the very emptiness of immortality in the underworld that made it essential for these heroes to gain immortal renown by their deeds in life. In this way part of them lasted forever with full glory and vigour in the living world. The capriciousness of the gods was another incentive for the Greeks to keep religious observances without needing promise of an idyllic afterlife. Reciprocity defined human-deity relations. A god received attention, votives, and sacrifices. In return a person had the right to request favours proportional to the offerings they gave, or at least to stave off the divine wrath of a god overlooked. The focus of reciprocity was a means of ensuring a better life, because after life there was nothing much to look forward to. The flawed and often wild characters of the gods were an excellent reason to stay on the right side of them just as a citizen would with any ruling class. The gods had the ability to intervene and aid a mortal if they wished, but more importantly they could decide to make life uncomfortable. This imperfection reflected the Greek view of gods as a part of the universe and not transcending it. Ultimately the Olympians were also subject to the Fates. This goes some way to explaining the religious focus on life rather than eternity.
“Oh wonder! Even in the house of Hades there is left something, a soul and an image, but there is no real heart of life in it.” Taking care to keep one god happy at a time may have been safer than attempting to please the whole collective. In the Euthyphro Dilemma of The Last Days of Socrates by Plato, Socrates cites the inability of the gods to ever reach a common agreement for his enquiry into the nature of good and evil. To summarise, Socrates asks: ‘Is something that is pleasing to a god therefore “good”?’ Euthyphro answers affirmatively. Socrates replies: ‘But the gods are always at odds with one another! Chew on that Euthyphro.’ One only has to look at Troy to realise the impossibility of doing right by one god as you do right by another. This might have made just judgement difficult, if it had not been for the fact that nobody really bothered to implement it. The system worked: you were related to a god then no-one could argue with that. For why else would one want to get caught up in the gods’ politicking? On balance it was probably a relief for all concerned that the majority of souls were fast-tracked straight to Asphodel, without subjection to the unpredictability of divine justice. All of this follows the decidedly traditional, Homeric and Archaic, understanding of prospects for eternal peace or suffering. Exceptions developed. By the end of the Archaic period someone had clearly spotted the chasm in the market; a variety of mystery cults had sprung up or changed tack to offer those in-the-know a possible pass to paradise.
One which grew to particular popularity was the cult of the Eleusinian Mysteries. These Mysteries dated to within the Archaic period and Cassius Dio wrote of their continuation right up to the time of the Hellenophilic Roman Emperor Hadrian. Athenian patronage played a significant role in their establishment. They gained importance in the latter part of the sixth century BC when the tyrant of Athens Peisistratos opened up participation to all Greeks. The Mysteries centred around the myth of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, whose daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades to become Hades’ queen. Demeter remained in Eleusis during her search for Persephone, there she worked as nurse to prince Triptolemus and taught him her secret agricultural rites. This myth tied the secrets of the Mysteries to both fertility and death – the usual intriguing features of cult activity. Jealously guarded cult secrets meant that despite its remarkable inclusivity – accepting men, women, and slaves from all spheres of life – the precise revelations of the initiation rites have no surviving record. Broad statements made about them by ancient writers (including Cicero) are the main source on the Mysteries’ influence in the afterlife. The aim was entrance to Elysium, in spite of Homer’s assertion that it was for the glorious only. Understandably, ordinary Greeks were not so accepting of a fate to flutter endlessly on a shadow plain as their Homeric heroes. The Mysteries’ popular appeal is evident from an incident in 415BC, shortly before the planned departure of an Athenian naval expedition to Sicily. One night many of the Hermes (stone pillars representing the god Hermes) in Athens were mutilated; a subsequent investigation attributed the desecration to the post-symposium frolics of a group of aristocratic young men who were also accused of having profaned the Mysteries. Political agendas lay behind the accusation, but it mobilised a genuine popular outrage powerful enough to cause the implicated, highly resourceful, politician and general Alcibiades to abandon command of the Athenian fleet and flee to Sparta. Offending the Mysteries was regarded as a threat to the democracy itself. The Athenians’ horror was hardly surprising. Not only did it bode ill for the Sicilian Expedition he had had to flee but the perpetrators had risked offending the powers which offered some hope for eternal bliss. The main thrust of day-to-day worship prioritised obtaining support for the short term: there was time to deal with an infinite afterlife when it came. The Elysium of Homer was too exclusive to consider – though happily so was Tartarus. However mythology is not static. Perhaps its development and embellishment over time to include increasing numbers of residents in both Tartarus and Elysium began to suggest to ordinary Greeks that they too might have some way of evading Purgatory. The attention paid to cults like the Eleusinian Mysteries is a hint that the Greeks had registered the attractions of peace in Elysium over the forgetfulness of Asphodel, and aspired to get in.
Aeschylus, Oresteia, ed. H. Lloyd Jones (London, 1979). Fox, R.L., The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome (London, 2005). Hesiod, Theogony, www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm ; accessed 18 October 2015. Homer, The Iliad, www.classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.23.xxiii.html ; accessed 18 October 2015. Homer, The Odyssey, ed. R. Latimore (London, 2007). Joint Association of Classical Teachers, The World of Athens: An Introduction to Classical Athenian Culture (Cambridge, 1984). Palagia, O., Art in Athens During the Peloponnesian War (Cambridge, 2009). Plato, The Last Days of Socrates, ed. C.J. Rowe (London, 2010). Rhodes, P.J., A Short History of Ancient Greece (London, 2014). Sophocles, Ajax, ed. J. Hesk (London, 2003). Thucydides, The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War, ed. R.B. Strassler (New York and London, 2008). Virgil, The Aeneid, ed. J.L. Whiteley (London, 1955).
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The Reality of Jewish Persecution and Expulsion in Europe, 1050-1330 By Tamsin Prideaux The relationship between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe has long been established as a hostile one in which Roman Christendom perpetrated vicious ideological and political attacks on Jewish religion and the community. However, a focus on persecution and expulsion could create a limited assessment of Jewish-Christian relations in medieval Europe as it fails to take into account other facets of the Jewish History. Moreover it is patent that any history which is fixed on portraying a particular view is naturally unable to give a balanced thesis and illustrates only a narrow picture. That the Jews suffered persecution and expulsion at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church is evident. To assume that this fact represents a coherent history of Jewish-Christian relations might indeed be to misrepresent reality. The Jewish history in medieval Europe is a complex issue in which more should be considered than acts of Catholic persecution. It is essential not to disregard the extent to which Jewish communities were able to flourish as they proved invaluable to economy and academia. The argument outlining religious intolerance and persecution also does not take into account the many instances of Jewish communities, such as in Rome, being under papal and secular protection. Furthermore hostility and rejection between the communities was sometimes ‘mutual’. It would, however, be naive to ignore the history of persecution and over-emphasise positive aspects of Jewish-Christian relations. The many repeated ideological battles launched against the Jews and everyday ‘instinctive anti-semitism’ does give validation to an analysis of persecution. Therefore in this essay I consider the Jewish History in a broader context than just that of ‘a vale of tears narrative’, and propose the theory that whilst there is evidence for some semi-cordial Jewish-Christian relations, persecution and expulsion is in fact an undeniably salient feature of Jewish history in medieval Europe. Historians such as J. A. Watt have emphasised the ideological nature of persecution, the religious intolerance diffused by Roman Catholic and secular authorities. However intolerance was not a consistent thread of religious thought throughout the Middle Ages. Indeed in many cases it was quite the contrary. Jews were often placed under papal protection: Pope Alexander II condemned physical violence, murder, religious coercion or legal infringement of the Jews. The Church at times took a theological stance of tolerance towards the Jews, an ‘Augustinian vision’ based on the gospel tenet of loving one’s enemy. Moreover there was a strong theological debate on the necessity of protecting the Jews as the gauge for the signs of the coming of end times and as potential converts to Christianity. It could be argued that this and the belief that the ultimate reward and blessing for the Jews would be the ‘divine bounty’ granted on the acceptance of Christianity over
Judaism prevented the elimination and excessive persecution of the Jews. If Jews were eventually as ‘God’s first love’ to be brought into the faith of Christianity, then persecution would be counterproductive as it would impede this end. The fact that Jewish communities were allowed freedom to worship in synagogues also belies the theory that Jews faced constant religious intolerance and persecution: far from condoning persecutory activity, Pope Alexander II resolutely forbad ‘baptism by force and denial of Jewish freedom of worship by attacks on synagogues’. An attitude of distrust towards the Jews as religious aliens was not always present: many Popes employed Jewish doctors as their own personal physicians, a role which requires a certain amount of confidence and trust which would not be given had the Jews been regarded as wholly ‘other’. If persecution is defined as the ruthless victimisation and attempted extermination of a particular group of people, then how is it possible that the Jewish community were able to survive, and indeed in some cases grow in number, throughout Western Europe during the Middle Ages? The inconsistent nature of anti-Jewish sentiment goes some way to shed light on the conflicting evidence about Jewish persecution. Analysing the Jewish history of the European Middle Ages as one purely of persecution and expulsion could be considered a somewhat misguided approach as it applies a general theme to a period and geography that was in a state of constant change. Elukin proposes the theory that scholarship and general opinion is too often apt to approach the issue on the assumption that anti-Jewish acts were performed as part of a ‘common culture of anti-Jewish sentiment’ rather than how they should be regarded: as an ‘unfolding of uncertain, contingent, and separate events that did not necessarily reflect the sentiment of most Christians.’ Limor develops this view by explaining that our dependence on records and accounts of Jewish persecution means that there is naturally more weight on the ‘vale of tears’ view as ‘records normally dwell on descriptions of calamities, adversity and deviations from normality, silently passing over routine days of peace and quiet’. Moreover, expanding on the theme of available materials with which to study persecution, the vituperative nature of polemical literature from both sides may deceive our understanding as it might create a more antagonistic image of the relationship between the communities than was really the case. Both sides were writing this literature for a specific agenda to prevent people from their own faith from converting. This suggests two interesting points for reflection: first, that the material was exaggerated in its attempts to demonise the actions of its opponents; second, that the necessity for this kind of writing suggests that there was already an integration and conversion to
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new ideas on both sides during a process of acculturation, which authorities and intellectual figures felt compelled to prevent. The Jewish community’s ability to endure and proliferate in medieval Europe despite persecution is perhaps the strongest challenge to the traditional view of them as a perpetually persecuted group. Chazan attributes this survival to prosperity, stating that ‘economic success was the key to the well-being of the Jews’. Jews often enjoyed considerable economic and cultural achievements: John Mundy propounds that Jews ‘flourished as never before’ in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. Furthermore Jews were often seen as a benefit to the Christian community in an economic capacity. In Speyer, for example, they were welcomed by the Bishop as an asset to the city and granted a ‘better legal position than any other Jewish community in any city of the German Kingdom’. They prospered in trade, banking and usury, and as, especially in the case of usury, they provided economic functions which Christians were unable to perform, they contributed profitably to the working of the city. The argument that Jewish-Christian relations fluctuated over time, and were not in a constant state of hostility only lends credence to the view that the Jewish position was a ‘precarious’ one. Times of economic, social and legal stability for the Jews were never secure, and the very state of this uncertainty suggests that the Jewish history of Europe was suffused with the constant threat of persecution. Moore’s argument that among Jewish communities there was an ‘increasing vulnerability in everyday life to the casual obloquy and abuse of the faithful’ supports the view the history of Jewish Communities in medieval Europe is largely marked by the shadow of persecution and expulsion. A community that is in a state of constant apprehension of an attack on their way of life, and needing protection from authorities to survive is surely the definition of a community victimised at the hands of a persecuting society. The necessity of drawing attention to more prosperous aspects of the Jewish narrative by historians merely testifies to the fact that persecution is its most prominent feature.
The Jewish history in medieval Europe is a complex issue in which more should be considered than acts of Catholic persecution. Bale, A., Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages (London, 2010). Bird, J., ‘Reform or Crusade? Anti-Usury and Crusade Preaching during the Pontificate of Innocent III’, in J.C. Moore (ed), Pope Innocent III and His World (Aldershot, 1999). Chazan, R., Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 2010). Eidelberg S., The Jews and the Crusaders (Wisconsin, 1977). Elukin, J., Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2007) Langmuir, G., ‘Thomas of Monmouth’, in A. Dundes (ed), The Blood-Libel Legend: A Casebook in Anti-Semitic Folklore (London, 1991). Levi, P., Il sistema periodico (Turin, 1975). Limor, O., ‘Christians and Jews’, in M. Rubin and W. Simons (ed), The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 4: Christianity in Western Europe c.1100-c.1500 (Cambridge, 2009). Moore, R.I., The Formation of a Persecuting Society, Second Edition (Oxford, 2007). Mondadori, A., (ed) Jewish Art and Culture in Emilia Romagna (Milan, 1989). Mundy, J., Europe in the High Middle Ages c1150-1300 (London, 1973). Rubin, M., Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews (New Haven and London, 1999). Stow, K. R., ‘Hatred of the Jews or Love of the Church: Papal Policy Toward Jews in the Middle Ages’ in S. Almog (ed), Anti-Semitism through the Ages (Oxford, 1988). Stow, K. R., ‘The Church and the Jews’, in D. Abulafia D. (ed), The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume V c. 1198-c.1300 (Cambridge, 1999). Watt, J.A., ‘The Crusades and the Persecution of the Jews’, in P. Linehan and J.L. Nelson (eds), The Medieval World (London, 2001).
The Jewish community’s ability to become an integral part of economic life in medieval cities, and the fact that they were often actively encouraged to settle there by the authorities, appears to refute the concept of perpetual Jewish persecution and expulsion. To say that the Jews faced expulsion in medieval Europe seems to be a paradox when taken with numerous accounts of Jewish communities being welcomed and protected as an economic benefit in numerous cities. However, it could be argued that this treatment to some extent was in fact exploitative: Jewish communities were more or less obliged to confine to certain areas of trade necessary for the well-being of the economy, but seen as dishonourable professions. Chazan describes how the Roman Catholic’s disapproval of usury being practised by Christians led to the Jewish community being forced into the profession and other similarly un-sympathetic ones of banking and finance as they were needed to fill the gap in secular economy. Thus the very pretext on which Jews were invited to cities provided fuel for anti-Judaism and persecution as these professions were always, no matter who practised them, viewed with antipathy by the populace. The stigma of usury became inter-linked with the general image of the Jewish community which developed, via this role in society, into a myth of the ritual murderer, avaricious and perfidious Jew. Furthermore, whilst Jewish communities were accepted into medieval cities, they were segregated and kept from being involved in society in a form ‘internal expulsion’. When Jewish communities no longer served a purpose in the city, their function being attacked – most commonly by travelling friars of certain religious orders – and replaced by a Christian run charity or organisation, they were then often summarily expelled exposing the sometimes exploitative and hypocritical nature of cordial overtures by city rulers. Thus even seemingly positive aspects of the Jewish-Christian relationship were tainted with the consistent reminders of the otherness of the Jews; proof that hostility based on prejudice was an ever-present reality. Robert Moore gives an apt summary of the dilemma of analysing Jewish-Christian relations in medieval Europe by declaring that it is ‘impossible to strike a true balance of the general situation of European Jews’. It would appear that the complexity of the nature of the relationship does not allow for any one broad description of the Jewish state in medieval Europe. However it does not follow that the historiography of Jewish persecution is a misrepresentation. Whilst Jewish life was not one continual experience of alienation and animosity, it would be an overstatement to assert that persecution and expulsion was not a conspicuous feature of the Jewish experience. Elukin argues rightly that to focus only on evidence of Jewish alienation would be to distort historical experience. Nevertheless, as long as a history of the Jews in medieval Europe includes the consideration of positive aspects of Jewish-Christian relations and admits the existence of paradoxes, persecution and expulsion is a natural area of study in this period as it is the logical outcome of abundant historical evidence for it. A history of the Jews which focuses on persecution and expulsion does not misrepresent reality as it was an unavoidable everyday truth for the majority of Jewish communities in Europe throughout the medieval period.
Terror & Tranquillity
The Franklin Expedition of 1845: TerrorBy in the Arctic Jessica L. Leeper
Human history is filled with stories of exploration – of conquistadores discovering new lands, sailors finding new passages to the west, and voyages to the moon and back. One hundred years ago, Ernest Shackleton led his crew to safety at South Georgia Island, surviving two brutal years in the Antarctic after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed in ice. However, human exploration has not always ended so well. On 19 May 1845 an expedition set out from London hoping to discover and trace the last uncharted waters of the Arctic’s Northwest Passage, a legendary waterway through the Wellington Channel which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from Baffin’s Bay to the Bering Strait. Two ships sailed down the Thames, both under the command of an experienced naval commander: Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin. The first ship, the HMS Erebus, was built in 1826 to be used as a war vessel, but won greater fame by withstanding three previous voyages to the Arctic under Crozier and Sir James Clark Ross. The second, the HMS Terror, captained by Francis Rawdon Crozier, was built over a decade earlier, and had contributed to the British bombarding of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. Both ships were refashioned as polar exploration ships in the mid-1830s, and both had previous successful voyages to the northern waters. The ships headed out into the cold waters of the north Atlantic, sailing towards Greenland where they would then follow the rocky, barren coastline into the Arctic Ocean. All seemed to be going well and according to plan. The ships were both in good condition for their age, and they had provisions to last at least eighteen months, although Franklin was convinced the provisions could be rationed to last them well into 1848 if necessary. However, the quality of the food would soon fail them. The vitamin C in the salted meat was not preserved properly, and the rest of the food was kept in cans made of 30 per cent lead. Soon the crew was in desperate need for nutrients in order to stave off starvation, lead poisoning, and scurvy. Franklin was hesitant to take up the native Eskimo’s way of life: hunting seals and whales for game. It was this very reason that in 1915 Ernest Shackleton was able to keep his crew alive; they were forced to eat raw seal meat, and even seal skin and eyes.
But Franklin could not fathom sinking to such a level of uncivil and ‘indigenous’ behaviour. That first winter of 1845-46 served as an indication of what the next few years would be like for the crew. The first three crewmen were dead by the start of the New Year. The third, John Torrington of the HMS Terror, died on 1 January – an ill omen which must have terrified any superstitious members looking forward to the New Year. The ships could not sail during the winter months, for the ice was now surrounding them in every which way. They could only wait out the winter, hoping for a good lead when the spring arrived. The crew camped out on the eastern coast of Beechey Island, a small isle just north of Somerset Island, and due west of Baffin Bay. They were in the northern region of the Arctic, where the ice packed in the worst. The three crewmen who died aboard the ships were buried in the permafrost ground of Beechey Island, where their bodies still rest, amazingly preserved, today. Despite the deaths of crew members and the poor food supply, Franklin still wrote in his captain’s log that everything was going well, and in the spring of 1846 the ships set sail towards the south, passing by Prince of Wales Island through Peel Strait, heading straight into the heart of the Arctic waters. The native Eskimos watched the ships from afar, serving always as distant bystanders in the expedition. It is thanks to the Eskimo people that later rescue missions were given clues as to where the ships went next. Although the native’s accounts differ, it is likely that the Erebus and Terror made it as far south as the western coast of Boothia Peninsula before becoming trapped for good in the ice. Other accounts mention the ships getting trapped further north on the opposite side of North Somerset Island or in the middle of Prince Regent’s Inlet. At this point the tale of exploration ended, and the struggle for survival began. On 11 June 1847, the expedition’s leader, Sir John Franklin, died on board the HMS Erebus and Captain Crozier of HMS Terror was now in command of the expedition. The ice pack had not let up, and the slow currents had pushed the ships further south. That winter nine more crew members were dead, and 15 were close to dying.
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The ice still did not ease by the spring of 1848, and on 22 April, Captain Crozier at last called for the crews to abandon the ships. The 105 men that remained alive were in a bad state, sick and starving, but Crozier had weighed their odds of survival and concluded that they had a better chance of making it back to England if they tried to make for the mainland on foot. Before setting off, Crozier left a written note detailing the crew’s survival plans, tucking the letter into a cairn. Crozier decided the men’s best bet of survival was to trudge south onto King William Island and from there reach Adelaide Peninsula, the northern tip of Canada’s mainland. At that point they could easily reach the mouth of the Great Fish River which would eventually lead into the District of Keewatin and the northernmost outpost of the Hudson Bay Company. At this point the story ends. No notes have been found nor any traces of their route and campsites. Random relics have appeared here and there, mostly taken by Eskimos and shown to rescue parties in later decades. Human remains of a few of the crew members have been found in various places, some as far south as the mouth of the Great Fish River, which indicates that at least some of the crew members held out long enough to reach the mainland before perishing. However, there were no known survivors. The Eskimo people recalled watching the men slowly trudging through the ice and snow, barely clinging to life. An old Eskimo woman told a search party some years later that she had witnessed the last of the party die. She described the very last man left alive sit down on the ice with his hands behind his head. Thus ended the Franklin Expedition of 1845. Back in London, friends and loved ones of the crew were becoming worried and suspicious. The Erebus and Terror were meant to have sailed through the Northwest Passage into the Pacific, where they then would have been able to send word back to Britain of their safety and success. It was now 1850, five years after the expedition, which was intended to take only 18 months, had set sail, and not a word had been heard from either of the ships since leaving the shores of Greenland in 1845. The British government put forth a reward of £20,000 to anyone who could discover the fate of the expedition. Rescue missions were quickly assembled in the following years, totalling 26 missions by 1880 – all were unsuccessful in finding the ships or the crew. On several attempts artefacts were found: spoons and ship planks, and, on rare occasions, a skeleton, bleached and long deceased. But no clues were good enough to trace the final whereabouts of Franklin’s party. Although the ships had not been found, the three graves on Beechey Island were discovered by one of the earliest rescue parties in 1850. The campsite there quickly became the most studied place on the Franklin route, and remained highly investigated well into the twentieth century. In 1981, long after newspapers had given up publishing anything about the tragic story, an anthropological research team from the University of Alberta led by Owen Beattie, brought the Franklin Expedition back into the spotlight. Beattie’s team exhumed the bodies of the three men on Beechey Island and looked at the skeletons found further south at various campsites. He carried out autopsies to find out if their deaths could have any possible explanation for why the expedition failed. The results were shocking and grim. Besides starvation and hypothermia, it was believed that scurvy, pulmonary tuberculosis, Pott’s disease, and worse – lead poisoning – were the most evident causes of death. These results were mildly unsettling compared to Beattie’s other discovery. He found evidence of cannibalism on several of the skeletons.
There have been, in human history, few cases of exploration as haunting and tragic as the Franklin Expedition of 1845. Cut and saw marks on the bones revealed the level of starvation which clearly plagued the last survivors of the expedition. What before had been a tragic tale of misadventure in the Arctic, became overnight a horrific saga showcasing the effects of human need and desperation. For years the Eskimo people had reported cases of cannibalism among the crew, but nineteenth-century search parties were unwilling to mention the dreadful news to journalists back in Britain. The fate of Erebus and Terror still remains a curious case. Although it was known from Crozier’s note that the ships had been trapped between the icebergs and were soon crushed, the exact location of the shipwreck remained a geographic mystery for decades. However, in September 2014, Owen Beattie carried out a search for the ships. After 169 years, the HMS Erebus was discovered, lying in a shattered mess beneath the solid waves just to the west of King William Island. It was a major find for Arctic, Canadian, and British historians, navigators, and relatives of the ill-fated crew. The HMS Terror still lies undiscovered. There have been, in human history, few cases of exploration as haunting and tragic as the Franklin Expedition of 1845. To this day it is still widely regarded as the most terrible tragedy in the Arctic’s history. It is a story of adventure and survival, but also a severe warning to any who dare to venture into the fickle and cruel waters of the earth’s most uninviting region. The Franklin party paid the price for penetrating its bays and icy inlets. An artist who once accompanied Beattie to Beechey Island perhaps best summed up the Arctic experience by saying that it is a ‘frightening place, guarding the great Franklin mystery. The silence is deafening. The spirits of the dead are there, prisoners forever in the ice.’
Battersby, William, & Carney, Peter, ‘Equipping HM Ships Erebus and Terror, 1845’, International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology, 81 (2011), pp. 192-211. Bayliss, Richard, ‘Sir John Franklin’s Last Arctic Expedition: A Medical Disaster’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 95 (2002), pp. 151-153. Beattie, Owen, and Geiger, John, Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition (Vancouver, 1998). Bertulli, Margaret, Fricke, Henry C., and Keenleyside, Anne, ‘The Final Days of the Franklin Expedition: New Skeletal Evidence’, Arctic: 50 Years of Northern Science, 50 (1997), pp. 36-46. Cyriax, R.J., ‘Recently Discovered Traces of the Franklin Expedition’, The Geographical Journal, 117 (1951), pp. 211-214. Davis, R.C., ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Cultural Arrogance and the Final Franklin Expedition’, Polar Geography (2011), pp. 21-38. Findlay, A.G., ‘On the Probable Course Pursued by Sir John Franklin’s Expedition’, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, 26 (1856), pp. 26-35. Markham, Clements R., Life of Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock (Cambridge, 2014). McCorristine, Shane, ‘The Spectral Presence of the Franklin Expedition in Contemporary Fiction’, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 55 (2014), pp. 60-71. ‘More Traces of the Franklin Expedition’, The Ipswich Journal, 6089, (Ipswich, 1856). ‘News of Sir John Franklin’s Expedition’, Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser (Dublin, 1849). ‘Sir John Franklin’s Expedition’, The Morning Chronicle, 24210 (London, 1847).
Terror & Tranquillity
In the Name of Capitalism:
The American Response to the Falkland Crisis By Robert Yee
Academic International Exchange with Vanderbilt University
In 1960, the United Nations, the supranational organisation that promotes international security and peace, issued a declaration of condemnation against holding former colonial possessions. In its ‘Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’, the UN pushed for the ‘end of colonialism in all its manifestations’ among its member countries. Yet, among the nations that would soon gain their independence, the issue of state sovereignty remained severely controversial over the territory of the Falkland Islands. The United Kingdom has laid claim to the archipelago since its days of imperialistic exploration in the seventeenth century, and again with a formal declaration in 1833. John O’Sullivan described British action in the region as a ‘final spasm of Victorian jingoism’. Current Prime Minister, David Cameron, asserted that the citizens of the territory have a right to selfdetermination; as TIME reports, in 2013, all but three of the Falkland Islanders voted to remain a British overseas territory. As Kenneth Privratsky notes, with a population mostly comprised of American and British citizens, the results of the referendum were of no surprise. While the focal point of the war lies in the conflict between the British and Argentine claims, understanding the response of other nations, namely the United States, is key to analysing the complex balance of power that escalated in the South Atlantic. As TR Bromund notes, by 1982, the British Ministry of Defence had announced its plan to cut aggregate military spending, and much of the limited budget would be directed towards protecting the North Sea from Soviet ships. As a result of the redistribution of capital, the HMS Endurance, which was stationed at the Falklands, withdrew from its regular patrol. Yachtsman Sir Peter Scott ascertained, in his letter to the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, that the evacuation ‘should not be seen as in any way foreshadowing the abandonment of [British] interests in this important region’. Argentina had a different interpretation. Believing the British were uninterested in protecting a small archipelago, Argentine forces moved into the territory three days later. Led by the military junta under President Leopoldo Galtieri, the Argentine military annexed the territory, certain that the British would neither engage in a war after their plans for defence redistribution, nor would they cross nearly 13,000 kilometres to reach the island chain. The British did respond with an enormous Task Force, however, instigating an armed conflict for territorial rights.
As Bluth notes, it was only at the British military arrival when the Argentine government realised the severity of the situation. In the eight-week war, nearly 1000 casualties and 2500 injuries were suffered in aggregate, along with the major sinking of the Argentine cruiser, the General Belgrano, and the British destroyer, the HMS Sheffield. In a heated speech in the House of Commons, Thatcher strongly condemned the actions of ‘this unprovoked aggression by the government of Argentina against British territory. It has not a shred of justification and not a scrap of legality’. On 14 June, the Argentine military surrendered at Port Stanley. Throughout the campaign, the United States was hesitant to engage in direct fighting, but still played a significant role in attempting to mediate between its two allies. The United States of America initially looked to a historical lens to answer the question of sovereignty over the region. The Falklands were originally part of the Viceroyalty of Buenos Aires, but an alleged secret agreement had ceded the territory to the British. As WM Reisman notes, no such treaty could be found and thus, the US chose not to impose the Monroe Doctrine. As described by Feldman, this issue caused Argentina to question the value of a recently proposed ‘Inter-American system’ that would promote transparency and dialogue between nations of the Americas. Such a system would promote the end-goal of ‘political harmony’ post-World War II. Throughout the conflict, the US attempted to end the conflict in the South Atlantic by negotiating for peace talks. After Argentina refused negotiation proposals, Washington ended all sales of weapons and ammunition to the Latin American nation. They were also afraid that Argentina would defect to Soviet Russia for assistance against its capitalist enemies. In their attempts to promote peace, the US faced a ‘Catch-22’ conflict between promoting its capitalist goals and ensuring the safety of the Falkland Islands. Argentina was ruled by a military junta, who led its people into a deep economic crisis, and thus greatly benefited from the popular morale boost of nationalistic warfare. As LS Gustafson notes, Galtieri’s proclamation of the seizure of the islands was met with fanfare and admiration by the local population. However, it was the American response to the Falklands War that was instrumental in heightening tension over the coveted territory. By not only declaring neutrality but also acting in a non-neutral manner, the US contributed to the conflict, antagonising both the British and the Argentinians. Louise Richardson points out that the British government was taken aback that their once-apparent allies would ‘claim neutrality in a dispute between its closest ally and a fascist dictatorship’. American self-interest in the Falklands was driven by the evident threat of communist influence in the region. The Argentinian stronghold was more than just an ally, but rather a buffer state in Latin America. According to Thornton, Alexander Haig, US Secretary of State, feared that a terrorising reign of left-wing regimes could befall the entire continental region if Argentina were to successfully obtain aid from Russia. Haig also warned that if the British injected too much military force in the region, Argentine leader Galtieri would begin ‘flirting with the Soviet Union’ for aid. However, as DL Feldman discusses, Galtieri was an outspoken anti-communist, and in previous visits to Washington had previously committed to align Argentina in the ‘ideological war’ against the Soviet Union. This statement would have delegitimised the US ‘tilt’ towards Britain, if they had no reason to fear a left-wing uprising by Peronist supporters.
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Regardless of the outcome, Perkins outlines that the US sought pushed for enough action to maintain their own interest of stopping the spread of communist threats. In some aspects, America also betrayed Britain. Reports have shown that, amidst the neutrality declaration and informal support for British forces, some of the US forces were not so supportive. In act of defiance against Haig’s amicable letters to Thatcher, the Americans sided with Buenos Aires in matters of foreign aid. Some, such as Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, saw fault in both parties; Argentina was wrong in the invasion, Britain was wrong in their response. According to James Aitken, despite his close friendship with the Iron Lady, Reagan tried to remain non-committal in the wake of events. He felt that a revival of a dark colonial past would arise if British troops engaged in violent military warfare. However, the Reagan administration as a whole also feared that a neoPeronist regime would seize power if the US did not intervene. The minutes from the 1962 National Security Council meeting highlight the apparent effects of picking the wrong side, and thus Americans sought to stay neutral formally; as long as the influence of communism did not rear its left-winged head, the American forces deemed they were in no obligation to act.
The tale of the Falklands War embodies a conflict that pits the United States against its allies and ultimately raises the issue of colonial rule. Naturally, the British felt let down by their once-strong allies across the Atlantic, who ignored their issue since it did not directly affect the American capitalist sphere of influence. Haig responded that ‘a landing on the Falklands would be very costly and would put the population in jeopardy’. Thatcher was displeased, and wanted greater actions from the Americans:For generations our two countries have cherished the same ideals. We’ve defended the same causes. We’ve valued the same friendships and together we’ve faced the same dangers. Once the US decided to take a neutral stance, bitter antagonism developed. Once Reagan began to push for peaceful ends, his strong relationship with his British counterpart began to fracture. Although Reagan often cited British involvement as similar to colonialism, Thatcher rebutted with comments of how America would respond if Alaska were invaded. The Reagan administration was cautious of drastic decisions, and heavily deliberated over the proper course of action. Their tactics were used to manipulate both sides in order to play into American self-interested doctrines. Although the US nominally declared neutrality, it had a slight bias towards British efforts shown through its strict Argentinian sanctions and frequent talks with the Thatcher government. It was clear that, in order to justify their own distant territories, the US had to support the legitimacy of the British Crown, despite holding true to a façade of neutrality. The Reagan administration in particular planned to remain impartial, at least in name, Richard Thornton asserts, for the duration of the conflict.
Choosing a side was more than just a personal matter; it was a decision of international security and self-interest: the US had to maintain its superpower status in the waking of rising Soviet ideologies, and had to uphold its ethical code of governance. Between Thatcher and Galtieri, only one party could receive American support, and taking a neutral stance would anger both. Although Reagan’s close relationship with Thatcher might have foreshadowed otherwise, the president took a ‘hands-off’ approach to this matter of foreign policy. Even within the Reagan cabinet, there were major divisions: Secretary of Defence, Casper Weinberger, and Under Secretary for European Affairs, Lawrence Eagleburger, stressed the importance of not damaging Anglo-American relations and promoting the capitalist ideology. The British themselves had highlighted the urgency of self-determination; others have challenged such an argument, Bluth notes, since there was no indigenous population to voice the concerns of the natives. Kirkpatrick remained one of the ardent supporters for neutrality. Through her justifications at the NSC meeting, she often found fault in both sides of the conflict. She denounced both the Argentine invasion of the islands, as well as the British effort to seize territory thousands of miles away. Ultimately, the crisis posed a ‘colonial issue’ whereby both parties unjustifiably attempted to seize land over which neither should have been able to lay claim, according to Kirkpatrick. The Falklands ordeal placed the US at the epicentre, for its superpower status meant that its affairs were of international interest. However, because of the quasi-interventionist stance the Americans took, it can be stated that the Reagan administration did not want to be involved due to moral reasons of choosing a side, but felt so compelled to act in accordance with their goal of stopping the spread of communism to Latin America. As Jerome has noted, Anglo-American relations deteriorated as the British saw a neutral stance during the Falklands War as one that was intuitively anti-British. The tale of the Falklands War embodies a conflict that pits the United States against its allies and ultimately raises the issue of colonial rule. The Americans played the role of a mediator between the Argentine and the British conflict, yet were unable to gain full-fledged allied trust with either side. The ‘honest broker’ mentality forged sour relations with both allies that ultimately proved unfavourable in the long run. The US was also driven by the desire to prevent the further spread of communism into the western hemisphere. Whose territorial claim on the archipelago, whether British, Argentine, or neither, is a matter of highly subjective, postcolonial debate. Yet what is clear from the controversial events is that a threat to the self-interest of participating countries escalated the affair of a small island chain to one of international concern over the very nature of territorial claim and political sovereignty. Aitken, J., Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality (London, 2013). Aldous, R., ‘With Friends Like These’, in The New York Times: Opinion, 27 Feb 2012. Bluth, C. ‘The British Resort to Force in the Falklands/Malvinas Conflict 1982: International Law and Just War Theory’, Journal of Peace Research 24 (1987), pp. 5-20. Bromund, T.R., ‘Falklands War: Lessons of Liberation Ring True for U.S. Today’, The Heritage Foundation, 14 Jun 2012. Burns, John F., ‘Papers Show Rare Friction for Thatcher and Reagan’, The New York Times, 28 Dec 2012. Castle, S., ‘Documents Show Thatcher-Reagan Rift Over U.S. Decision to Invade Grenada’, The New York Times, 31 Jul 2013. ‘David Cameron and Argentina minister clash over claim to Falkland Islands’, The Guardian, 10 Jun 2015. ‘Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’, The United Nations and Decolonization: Main Documents, 1960, www.un.org/en/decolonization/declaration.shtml ; accessed 25 October 2015. ‘Falklands: MT letter to Reagan’, Margaret Thatcher Foundation: Archive, 4 May 1982. ‘Falklands: MT letter to Sir Peter Scott’, Margaret Thatcher Foundation: Archive, 21 Oct 1981. Feldman, D.L., ‘The United States role in the origins and development of the Malvinas dispute: Implications for the 1982 conflict’, Peace Research, 19 (1987) pp. 38-40. Gustafson L.S, The Sovereignty Dispute Over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands (New York, 1988). Harvey Morris, ‘Here’s Why U.K.-Argentina Tensions are Rising Again Over the Falklands’, TIME, 24 Mar 2015. ‘Jeane Kirkpatrick’, The Telegraph: Obituaries, 9 Dec 2006. Jerome, Joseph, ‘America Between Friends: The Reagan Administration’s Mishandling of the Falklands War’, 2006, www.joejerome.com/documents/ falklands.pdf ; accessed 25 October 2015. Larres, K., The US Secretaries of State and Transatlantic Relations (New York, 2010). Kirkpatrick, J.J., ‘My Falklands War and Theirs’, The National Interest 18 (Winter 1989/1990). ‘National Security Council Meeting: South Atlantic Crisis’, The Reagan Files, 30 Apr 1982. Nuechterlein, D.E., America Overcommitted: United States National Interests in the 1980s (Lexington, Kentucky, 1985). O’Sullivan, J., ‘The Significant “Little War”’, National Review, 2 Apr 2012. Perkins, I., Vanishing Coup: The Pattern of World History since 1310 (Lanham, 2013). Privratsky, K.L., Logistics in the Falklands War (South Yorkshire, 2014). ‘Remarks arriving at the White House’, Margaret Thatcher Foundation: Statements & Texts, 26 Feb 1981. ‘Reagan On the Falkland/Malvinas’, George Washington University: The National Security Archive, 1 Apr 2012. Reisman, W.M., ‘The Struggle for the Falklands’, The Yale Law Journal, 93 (1983), pp. 287-318. Richardson, Louise, When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations During the Suez and Falklands Crises (New York, 1996). ‘Thatcher announces the Falklands invasion to the House of Commons’, YouTube: The Royal Palace Channel, 6 Sep 2009; accessed 25 October 2015. Thornton, R., The Reagan Revolution II: Rebuilding the Western Alliance (Bloomington, 2014).
Terror & Tranquillity
Between Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Buddhist Interaction with Freudian Psychoanalysis By Dr. Christopher Harding
In the West, Sigmund Freud is thought of as one of the greatest critics of religion that has ever lived. In our own times, we are quite familiar with attempts to integrate psychoanalysis and psychotherapy more broadly with religious traditions including Christianity and Buddhism. The rise of a ‘mindfulness’ culture, which encompasses a publications boom, classes, retreats, and media usage of a mixed spiritual and psychological language, is a major example of such integration in the early 21st century. But for Freud and his generation in Europe there wasn’t so much ‘integration’ of psychoanalysis and religion as reduction – of religious sensibilities, hopes, beliefs, and practices to various kinds of psychological functioning and malfunctioning and from there, ultimately, to our physiology. Religious worldviews, religious habits: these are things out of which the human race must gradually grow, claimed Freud, whose book The Future of an Illusion (1927) became a classic statement of this case. My interest in the relationship of Buddhism with psychoanalysis came from a sense that there is interesting and important territory to be explored here on three levels. Firstly, there is our contemporary blending of religious and psychotherapeutic cultures, which feels too easy, too superficial, and not always very fulfilling. Secondly, there are the encounters of Freud’s era, where real difficulties were acknowledged in how psychoanalysis and religion might fit together. Finally, it is interesting to consider the divide between Europe and Asia in this argument – and in Japan and India in particular. To give a flavour of this divide, here is a short exchange between Freud and an Indian academic from Calcutta University, Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, who visited Freud in the 1930s and tackled him on his materialism. Chatterjee later recorded the encounter in his diary, as follows: ‘I said to Freud: One of the great doctrines of the philosophy you have built up is, as far as I understand, that libido or the sex impulse is intimately connected with all art and spiritual aspiration. The saints and sages of our country too, some of them, were conscious of this.
[He then read from a short piece of poetry by an Indian mystic]: ‘I adore that Supreme Being Govinda or Vishnu, who because he is the very soul of Bliss, of Knowledge, and of the Highest Joy, takes up the nature of Smara – the sex urge – and in this way manifests himself in the minds of all creatures. And through this sport of His, is forever triumphing in all these worlds. ‘I then asked Freud: What do you say to that? I would like to put a straight question to you. What is the real thing, the permanent or abiding thing in existence? What relationship has man’s life with that reality? What is the final conclusion you have arrived at? ‘Freud laughed at me. He said: You see, from all that I have thought over this matter I have found no connection between man’s life and some permanent or abiding thing about which you speak. Here on this earth, with death, everything pertaining to man has an end. My powers are gradually coming to an end, and finally everything will be finished. ‘This despite being an appreciator of art? I asked. ‘Art, beauty, joy – all these centre round the body. And this is my considered conclusion: nothing exists after death. ‘What of those who say “I have seen, I have known?” ‘All that is self-deception of persons who are emotional, and who have only imagination and nothing else. ‘What I feel is that unless one has some touch of mysticism in life, some sort of feel or glimpse of a realization of this Unseen Reality, he cannot properly live. The fine arts, music, these bring into our minds this glimpse of the mystic being that is behind life. ‘Possibly you are accustomed to think like men of your own people, Freud replied. You are talking just like one of them. All this is [but] the transformation of our emotions.’ Here was a radical materialism, combined with an apparent refusal of the kind of cultural relativism that allows people today to accept differing religious and psychotherapeutic cultures as equally valid, even while they may not be clearly compatible. Given Freud’s hardline position, how could a pioneering psychoanalyst and loyal Freudian like Kosawa Heisaku in Japan, working in the 1930s-1950s, truly be both a Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist and a follower of Freud?
Terror & Tranquillity
What did he believe about his own fundamental being, and about the world around him – about where these things come from, where they are going, and what meaning they have? Is Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism a collection of metaphors that reduces, ultimately, to the kind of human psychology Freud described? Or might it be vice versa: Freudian psychology gives us practical, scientific, manageable ways of understanding and coping with the human imperfections that Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism describes? I put this question to a former analysand of Kosawa from back in the 1940s, Dr Nagao, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this year. He taught me two crucially important things – both of them about language. Dr Nagao suggested that language and logic be regarded as human tools: useful in making sense of things around us as long as we don’t confuse their parameters with actual limitations out there in the world. For Jōdo Shinshū Buddhists, to believe that language and logic can do any more than this is to succumb to jiriki: the deluded belief that as humans we possess an advanced ability to know the world, to work out our salvation within it, and shape ourselves to it. The second thing that I learned from Dr Nagao was how, for Kosawa Heisaku, Buddhism and psychoanalysis were first and foremost ways of living as opposed to grand theories about how the world is. Their shared aim, for Kosawa, was helping people to see: to see as clearly as possible the flaws and deceptions that cloud and mar their lives. One of the biggest of these is the deception that we are truly independent agents. Kosawa thought that we are not, and that what psychoanalysis may achieve for us is a harrowing, embarrassing but inescapable realization that we are very deeply the creation of others. First we are creations of our family, especially in those early life interactions with mothers and fathers about which Freud had so much to say; of friends and society at large; and finally, ultimately, of the workings of ‘Other-power’ (tariki). This is the ‘infinite light of compassion’ that some Jōdo Shinshū Buddhists talk about as a celestial Buddha, Amida (the most famous representation of which is the giant statue located in Kamakura, Japan). The more we know ourselves through psychoanalysis, or indeed through other sorts of therapy, the more that we will come to see Other-power at the very root of our being. Kosawa believed that Shinran, Jōdo Shinshū’s founder, had had this insight many centuries ago, and that in his own time Sigmund Freud was pursuing the very same path – despite his antipathy towards the religious systems of his day. Two lines from the poet Kai Wariko, a near contemporary of Kosawa Heisaku, express this well: The voice with which I call Amida Buddha Is the voice with which Amida Buddha calls to me In other words, even at the moment ‘I’ call out to Amida for help – a prayer known in Japanese as the nembutsu – I realize that at the deepest root of myself, my subjectivity, there is nothing other than Amida. It was perhaps for this reason that Kosawa talked as much about ‘living’ psychoanalysis as he did ‘doing’ it: not just practicing a technique as a professional, but living in the light that psychoanalysis was shedding on his experience. For Kosawa, this way of living included engaging in a solo form of ‘free association’. This is the psychoanalytic technique whereby a client allows thoughts to come and go as they please, speaking them out loud, which the therapist then uses as a source of information about his or her client. As a solo undertaking, in Kosawa’s hands, this became almost
a kind of mindfulness practice. As such, it was ahead of its times. Kosawa’s young students, in the 1950s, disliked much about his technique and his worldview. They worried – and perhaps they were right to do so – that what Kosawa insisted was a philosophical insight about our false sense of selfhood (jiriki) might really be more about a very conservative form of cultural politics, in which individualism was regarded as pathological. Having just come out of fifteen years of war (1931 – 1945) for which an ultra-conservative military elite bore much of the responsibility, and during which Japanese people had explicitly been encouraged to set their own desires and interests aside for the sake of something greater, Kosawa’s view of the world looked distinctly suspect. This is a problem with which contemporary spiritualities, not least mindfulness and the engaged Buddhism movement, must continue to wrestle. We might worry that forms of mindfulness that seem to do no more than contribute to one’s work efficiency, emotional stability, or general attractiveness as a person are superficial, missing something fundamental. But equally, ideas such as ‘going beyond ego’ or rejecting a ‘false self’ are open to abuse as rationalizations for subtle forms of personal or political complacency – a withdrawal from crises around the world, or at least a failure to meet them with a measure of those very things that many forms of spirituality tend to underrate: assertion, passion, anger, and a refusal to delegate to some ‘Other power’ work that can and should be done by ordinary puny old human beings.
‘Art, beauty, joy – all these centre round the body. And this is my considered conclusion: nothing exists after death.’ Dale, Peter N., The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness (London, 1986) Freud, Sigmund, The Future of an Illusion, (London, 1928). Harding, Christopher, ‘Japanese Psychoanalysis and Buddhism: the Making of a Relationship’, History of Psychiatry 25.2 (2014). Safran, Jeremy, ed., Psychoanalysis and Buddhism: an Unfolding Dialogue (Boston, 2003). Young-Eisendrath, Polly and Muramoto, Shoji, eds., Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy (Hove, 2002).
Terror & Tranquillity
As I write, it is the 28 October 2015, and three days have passed since Tanzania went to the polls for the fifth time since the return of multi-party elections in 1995. Elections in Africa are always moments of high tension, and this election is no different. Today, the BBC News Africa page leads with ‘Tanzania poll crisis.’ Immediately below this headline is more information: ‘Zanzibar poll scrapped because of “rigging”’ and ‘Opposition calls for Tanzania’s entire election to be annulled’. For many countries in the region, this chain of events is depressingly familiar. East Africa is no stranger to challenged elections. In December 2007, a hotly contested election in Kenya, which pitted Raila Odinga against the incumbent President, Mwai Kibaki, led to violence after Kibaki claimed a victory that Odinga believed to be rightly his. While early results had suggested that Odinga was ahead, as counting continued Kibaki pulled in front. Odinga alleged fraud and demanded a recount, but on 29 December the Electoral Commission declared Kibaki the winner and he was quickly sworn in as President. In the violence which followed over the next two months, more than 1,000 people lost their lives and a further 300,000 people were displaced. The magnitude of the violence that characterised 2007-8 exceeded anything that had been seen previously in Kenya. Nevertheless political violence had been a feature of Kenyan elections since independence. In contrast, mainland Tanzania, excluding Zanzibar, has been characterised by relative peace, including at election time. How do we explain these divergent post-colonial histories? One answer that is often given is the different role played by ethnicity in the two countries. In the 2007 elections in Kenya, the election pitted a Luo politician, Odinga, against a Kikuyu President, Kibaki. The voting and the political violence that followed the election were similarly divided along ethnic lines. In mainland Tanzania, conversely, ethnicity has rarely played a decisive role in elections. This is often seen as a product of Tanzania’s distinctive history. Ethnicity matters less in Tanzania, it is said, for historical reasons. Some cite the presence of a common language, Swahili, while others draw attention to the role of Tanzania’s first postindependence President, Julius Nyerere (an Edinburgh graduate), who moved swiftly after independence in 1961 to ensure that ethnically-based associations were removed from any political role, and devoted himself to nation-building efforts that aimed at transcending ethnic identity in favour of a shared Tanzanian national identity. But the relative absence of ethnicity from overt political debate in Tanzania is not the whole story. On closer examination, another striking contrast between Tanzania and Kenya rapidly becomes apparent. Political violence has been used in Kenyan elections because parties know that a great deal is at stake, and that they have the potential to win or to lose. In Tanzania, in contrast, the nationalist party which won independence in 1961, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), and which in 1977 united with the Zanzibar nationalist Afro-Shirazi Party to become Chama Cha Mapinduzi (the Party of the Revolution, CCM), has never before looked to be at serious risk of defeat.
Explaining political dominance Our task, then, is to explain this dominance. On one level, the answer is simple. Julius Nyerere, leader first of TANU and then of CCM, commanded overwhelming support at independence and moved swiftly to establish a system of one-party democracy which made it impossible for a rival party to build up support. But this does not in itself explain CCM’s dominance. In other countries
Africa’s Haven of Peace?
Elections, Politics and Violence in Post-colonial East Africa
By Dr Emma Hunter
where political space was rapidly closed down after independence, ruling parties were eventually overthrown in coups, or their leaders removed by rivals. Why did this not happen in Tanzania? It may be because in Tanzania, the nationalist party did not simply close down political space in legislative terms, it also succeeded in monopolising political space in imaginative terms. Immediately prior to independence, Julius Nyerere and TANU were able to link the demand for uhuru (freedom) to themselves as the only means of achieving independence. In contrast, in Kenya, two rival parties offered two competing visions of a post-colonial future, one a decentralized state, the other a strong centre. But what is perhaps even more striking is the way in which Julius Nyerere and TANU were able to respond to growing political criticism in the 1960s, once independence had been achieved and the fruits of independence seemed not to be forthcoming. They did so by setting out a new vision of the future. This new vision of the future was encapsulated in the Arusha Declaration of 1967, which set Tanzania decisively on a socialist path. Where other post-colonial leaders were overthrown in coups or pushed aside by rivals, Nyerere was able to create a new narrative which put him at the heart of a struggle against illegitimate accumulation and corruption in politics, redefining politics as a moral struggle. While on one level the Arusha Declaration was a political manoeuvre, which shored up support and eliminated rivals, it also served to recapture and re-moralize public space, reenchanting nationalist discourse in a narrative that put Nyerere firmly at the centre as author of the new aims of TANU.
The Arusha Declaration The Arusha Declaration, published on 5th February 1967 after consultation with TANU’s National Executive Committee but based on ideas formulated by Nyerere himself, marked a bold shift. It announced that where TANU had once been open to all who wished to fight for Tanzania’s self-government and independence, it would henceforth be a party only for those committed to building a
Terror & Tranquillity
‘Where have they acquired this wealth if not from injustice?’ society based on the principles of Ujamaa (African Socialism). Immediately afterwards a series of nationalisations were announced, along with “Education for Self-Reliance,” a new educational system which aimed to educate all in a way fitting to Ujamaa rather than focusing attention on an academic few, and a plan for rural resettlement and villagisation. A Leadership Code made clear that those who held political office must be fully committed to TANU’s objectives, and must give up any private or business interests which contradicted those objectives and placed them in the class of “exploiters.” In the letters’ pages of the Swahili press, the Arusha Declaration was understood as an answer to the sorts of problems which had led to the fall of other African governments, particularly that of corruption. Links were sometimes explicitly made to circumstances in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana, where growing criticism of corruption had led to the overthrow of Nkrumah in 1966. A letter that appeared in the newspaper Ngurumo lamented the great wealth which many politicians had acquired and asked: ‘where have they acquired this wealth if not from injustice?’ In Ghana, the letter writer declared, one of Nkrumah’s ministers had ‘bought a gold bed,’ and this bed had now been seized by the new government and would be sold. There were lessons here, he argued, for Tanzania, writing that ‘[i]f we have discovered this sickness, and we seem to have done so in announcing the Arusha Declaration and the policy of ujamaa, should we not also seek out this remedy? There is only one remedy – this property should be seized and the money which is received should be put into the Government purse.’ The Arusha Declaration provided a new language for attacking corrupt officials. Thus on 21st October 1967 an article entitled ‘Against Ujamaa’ reported that C.R. Chipanda, working in the office of the Ministry of Lands in Mtwara, in northern Tanzania, had appeared in court for the offence of having failed to pay his servant enough and for not having paid for insurance for him. While the defendant claimed that the servant was a relative, the judge asserted that “exploitation has many faces”, and that this was an example of misusing the principle of African brotherhood. The Arusha Declaration succeeded in re-legitimising TANU through re-establishing its claim to authority, no longer simply as the party which brought freedom from colonialism but as the party which would combat corruption and ensure justice for all. It did so by harnessing a language of political morality, and turning it to new ends. That the nationalist party therefore succeeded in crowding out alternatives is a product of a successful ideological project as much as a project of state repression.
CCM’s ideological hegemony helps to explain Tanzania’s stability over the fifty years which followed independence in 1961. Yet although the 2015 elections seem, as this article goes to press, to have ended in victory for CCM’s candidate, John Magufuli, it is striking that this year people have been seriously asking the question: ‘Could CCM lose?’ There are immediate practical reasons that help explain why, over the last few months, CCM has looked seriously at risk for the first time since independence. A large part of the reason is that a former CCM Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, switched sides and joined the opposition party Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party for Democracy and Progress, CHADEMA). Furious at being left off the list of candidates to run on the ruling party’s ticket, Lowassa deserted his party and was welcomed with open arms by an opposition that finally scented the possibility of election success with Lowassa as its presidential candidate. He stood as the candidate for the opposition coalition Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi (the Coalition of Defenders of the People’s Constitution, UKAWA), which unites CHADEMA with three other opposition parties. So for the first time, voters had a straight choice between two heavyweight candidates, John Magufuli for CCM and Edward Lowassa for UKAWA. But if 2015 does turn out to mark the beginning of the end of CCM dominance, the seeds of this change go much further back in time. If Nyerere succeeded in constructing a political discourse which responded to widespread concerns within Tanzania society and sought to provide an answer to those concerns, this ability to be all things to all people could only ever be temporary. CCM remains in power, but it no longer has a monopoly over visions of the future. And for this reason, Tanzania’s elections may continue to make headlines in the years to come.
Anderson, David, and Lochery, Emma ‘Violence and Exodus in Kenya’s Rift Valley, 2008: Predictable and Preventable?’, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 2.2 (2008), 328-343. Hunter, Emma ‘Julius Nyerere, the Arusha Declaration, and the Deep Roots of a Contemporary Political Metaphor’ in Fouéré, Marie-Aude ed., Remembering Julius Nyerere in Tanzania: History, Legacy, Memory, (Dar es Salaam, 2015). [Publication forthcoming]. Hunter, Emma Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the era of Decolonization, (Cambridge, 2015). Lynch, Gabrielle I Say to You: Ethnic Politics and the Kalenjin in Kenya, (Chicago, 2011). ‘Tanzania elections: could CCM lose to Ukawa’? 23 October 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34583526, accessed 28 October 2015. ‘Tanzania election: Zanzibar vote annulled over ‘violations’’, 28 October 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34656934, accessed 28 October 2015.
Features Silence and Screams: The Interpretation of Punishment Devices In Museums By Georgia Vullinghs Wandering through the National Museum of Scotland (NMS) on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I headed towards one of my favourite sections: crime and punishment in early modern Scotland. As I walked through the tranquil halls of the museum, observing the artefacts and reading the accompanying descriptions, it occurred to me how easy it is to forget that these items were once tools of torture and terror. How should such artefacts – thumb screws, a scold’s bridle and The Maiden guillotine – be interpreted in museums? These are artefacts which symbolise the dark side to our society’s history and also remind the viewer of similar, stillexistent practices today. How should such objects make the visitor feel, what thoughts should they provoke and how should museums handle the display of such artefacts? Our society has a fascination with pain and terror in history. Many tourist attractions thrive on this interest: establishments like the Edinburgh Dungeons, the Amsterdam Torture Museum and the Prague Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments are major attractions. Yet these museums, and displays like those in the NMS, do not directly engage with the reality of historical torture devices. The displays fail to express how horrific these machines really were. They remain disconnected from historic reality and the human capacity for terror is overlooked. Certainly the darkened rooms and eerie lighting of the Amsterdam and Prague torture museums help create a morbid, intimidating atmosphere, but visitors still view torture devices outside of their true context. Screams of terror, blood and damp of a dungeon are absent. Inside a glass cabinet, the devices become clean and distanced from their past use.
It is true that the imagination can work wonders: the imposing Maiden, dominating the NMS crime and punishment exhibit, cannot fail to invoke dread. Nevertheless, the official descriptions concentrate on the guillotine’s invention and the mechanics behind the machine, not its real use. Similarly, whilst the Edinburgh Dungeons dramatically re-enact gruesome history, the theatrical nature of the experience arguably detaches the visitor from any sense of historical reality. The Dungeons provide an exaggerated, entertaining view of history which induces thrills and fear, but inspires no serious meditation on historical experience. The sanitised display of torture weapons does not give a real representation of the history. One could even argue that viewing these artefacts in such a casual and detached viewing is disrespectful towards those who suffered violent punishment. TripAdvisor reviews of the Prague Museum of Medieval Torture emphasise the museum’s ‘excellent displays’, ‘mind blowing’ effects and usefulness as an attraction to ‘dip into’ when the rain comes on. Rarely do these reviewers consider what the artefacts really tell us about the human capacity for terror and torture and the effect on the victims. The solution to this conundrum is difficult. Should museum visitors be forced to directly consider objects of terror? Arguably this would be equally problematic; museums have to follow ethical codes and many visitors would find it too disturbing to consider these issues too deeply. Museums need to consider how to induce a greater understanding of the historical reality of torture devices, whilst still avoiding both theatrical exaggeration and dehumanisation of the experience. A visit to a museum should be equal parts a learning curve and enjoyable, and museums should ultimately seek to strike a balance between these two sides of the experience.
Italy: Natural Beauty of the Azure Masks Its Disruptive Past By Maddy Pribanova When visiting Italy, one is immersed into an energy so unlike that of Britain; from the extravagant hand gestures, to the scorching summer sun, to a vibrant history that is held within its twenty regions and 110 provinces. The region of Naples in especially boasts a history enriched by so many different and fascinating ancient cultures whose lives were particularly distinguished by the geology of the area. The volcanic landscape therefore creates an ambiguous sense of a ‘living on the edge’ existence that wavers between terror and tranquillity and it is to this day that the region holds the dramatic potential to build, as well as shatter, lives. Perhaps one of the more low-key tourist attractions today is Volcano Solfatara, translated from Latin as ‘the land of sulphur’. The sulphur that erupts from amongst the crater rocks was used medicinally from as far back as the Roman times; the Romans utilised the mud from the clay beds for their baths, adding to their extensive and luxurious lifestyle. Its perceived medicinal properties and scientific interest was renewed as it became a popular destination again in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The dramatic location is also said to have inspired Virgil’s description of Hades, as well as Roman myths claiming it was the workplace of the blacksmith God, Vulcan. Today, as throughout history, the land is incredibly fertile, the bold eucalyptus trees and vineyards are just the beginning of what is one of Italy’s most fruitful regions. The result of this, with the influence of the sea, Neapolitan cuisine is rather distinguishable and thus the renowned Neapolitan pizza includes aubergines, courgettes, and plum tomatoes. However, the most painful reminders of the shadow which hangs over this region are the excavations and archaeological reconstructions of ancient cities such as Herculaneum and Pompeii. Their sheer size points to the area’s splendour, which was so ruthlessly destroyed in 79AD eruption. Though Pompeii itself reveals traces of ancient cultures, in particular the Oscans, it was more a summer resort for the Romans, including Emperor Nero. It is interesting to note that what perhaps exacerbated the shock and panic, as documented in Pliny the Younger’s account, was the assumption that Vesuvius was threat free as it had been inactive for 800 years. The excavations of bodies point to the mixed reactions of the victims of the eruption: some awaited death in each other’s arms and some were desperate to escape their once tranquil lifestyle.
Terror & Tranquillity
Holland: The Glorious Days of ‘Tulip Mania’ By Isobel McConville Earlier this year, on a warm April morning, I boarded a bus heading out of Amsterdam to the small town of Lisse, south east of the city. Like thousands of tourists and locals alike, I had been drawn in by the promise of a true spectaclem – the annual flowering of the Tulip bulbs in the Keukenhof. This ornamental garden boasts 32 hectares of tulip displays, with a whopping seven million individual plants, having been opened in 1949 by the Mayor of Lisse, in order to both celebrate the beautiful bloom and assist the Dutch flower market. It was not hard to understand how the tulip has become almost synonymous with the country, and held a special place in its economy for hundreds of years. Holland is currently the world’s largest exporter of flowers and, indeed, flower markets can be seen dotted alongside the canals in every major Dutch city. However, the idyllic image of these Dutch flower markets hides a fascinating history. The tulip, despite its associations with the Dutch capital, is not in fact native to the country or to Western Europe at all. It was first introduced to the region in the late sixteenth century. Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius is credited with the first flowerings in the Netherlands in the city of Leiden in 1594. The flowers were greeted with such enthusiasm that prices soared, in an event that became known as ‘Tulip Mania’. Nineteenth century British journalist Charles Mackay, in the seminal book on the event, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds claimed that at one point, twelve hectares of land, or the value of a year’s wages for a Dutch merchant, were offered for a single bulb. In Golden Age Holland, newly independent from the rule of Spain in 1581 and buoyed by success in East Indies trade, the tulips became a symbol of status and identity; ornamental gardens became a display of the affluence for Dutch merchants. Demand existed in particular for rare tulips that showed streaked and multi-coloured petals, the result of a mosaic virus affecting the plant. The tulip plant tends to take around a decade to flower from seed, and those affected by virus can take even longer. When the bubble crashed, almost overnight, in February 1637, most bulbs had not reached maturity, and traders lost fortunes never having laid eyes on the beautiful petals. Thanks to Mackay’s account, ‘Tulip Mania’ has entered the lexicon to refer to any speculative boom based on market irrationality. However, modern economic historians have called Mackay’s account into question. In a 2007 study, Anne Goldgar examined contracts that had been drawn up in the tulip trade and suggested that the bubble had not in fact affected the entire Dutch economy, but was limited to a small number of already wealthy individuals, for whom the dip in prices did not result in complete ruination. The Dutch government was also about to introduce a law that stated that those who had bought the rights to buy investments, such as tulip bulbs, were not legally required to follow through with this purchase if the market did not remain favourable, meaning tulip investments were actually low risk. Regardless of the reality of the event, or the debate that continues amongst historians, the story of ‘Tulip Mania’ survives. Even today, walking through the flower beds at the Keukenhof, catching a glimpse of the tulips in their sudden yet brief season, you can still feel the pull of these beautiful flowers, and feel yourself catching a little ‘Tulip Mania’.
Zimbabwe: An English-Indian Summer in the Southern African Winter By Tim Moller Zimbabwe, May 2015. Winter in Southern Africa. You might think it an odd subject for a magazine that focuses on the past, but this very much suggests the present. Does it not? Let me come directly to my point: Zimbabwe is a relic. Zimbabwe is history. This sounds blunt, brutalist even. A condemnation. I don’t see it like that. Zimbabwe is a country imbued by the weight of its colossal history and the result is a country that is a misnomer. African, yet European. The result can best be described as being like England on acid. Zimbabwe has a tranquillity and faded charm that is akin to a sleepy English Sunday afternoon at the very end of an exceptionally sublime Indian summer. Afternoon tea is a relic that, in the archaic Harare and Bulawayo Clubs’ members’ lounges, is still taken as an institution. Walking down Leopold Takawira Avenue in Bulawayo, one cannot but fail to notice that the Christmas lights are still most definitely ‘up’. Whether this is from the previous year’s festivities or those of 1981 never became clear. Their unbroken, optimistic message of good cheer felt like a collective shrug of the shoulders. People carry on. The crash of 2008 that saw the perhaps ironic use of the US dollar as local currency has fostered a resilient resignation amongst Zimbabweans. An informal economy of market stall traders flourishes. At the dead of night in the desolate mining town Thomson Junction, I met a shunter from the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) who had not been paid in ten months. He is not unique. The NRZ is certainly going through a rough patch. If the government newspapers are to be believed, the NRZ crumbles. Most of the rolling stock is so old and historically uncared for that in the windows and the mirrors and the light fittings the old ‘RR’ monogram of Rhodesia Railways languishes. This is the colonial entity that created the famous Victoria Falls hotel, whose golden summer is still the much-celebrated Royal Tour of 1947. But what does the government think of the RR? It could be that no one has ever paid any attention. In Britain, trains still go about with ‘BR’ (British Railways) stamped on them conspicuously – but Britain did not fight a bitter war of liberation from a white minority government. Suddenly the nostalgia group ‘Bring Back British Railways’ and all its Corbynite leanings looks much more innocuous. ‘RR,’ unlocked a time capsule of half remembered jingoistic colonial adventure. Half remembered, because the restaurant cars don’t seem to get the concept of food on the move. Beer, biscuits and fags are what the NRZ restaurant cars sell, and cigarettes, despite the no smoking signs – although I expect them to be another leftover from the RR. Just one example of the topsy-turvy, Alice in Wonderland world. Zimbabwe is a country that walks shackled by its history. I am inclined less to blame than to appreciate this. A window into a bygone colonial world is offered. The pomp of the Royal Tour of 1947 does this deliberately. The NRZ achieves this accidentally. The people struggle, but they do not fall down. The country continues to pirouette through the Indian Summer.
Terror & Tranquillity
A History of British Immigration Policy: Constructing the ‘Enemy Within’ By Mathew Nicolson & Jovan Rydder Amnesty International Society
“I tried to get into a lifeboat, but, when it was launched, it was nearly empty, and soon the stream and waves pushed it far. The other lifeboats were already far away. Many people had jumped into the sea and a good deal of them had already died. When I realised… that there was not much time left, I got down calmly into the sea, and swam away from the ship, which was quickly sinking. She had turned on the right side, her bow was submerged, people were on the decks poured into the sea, and all of a sudden she sank with a terrible noise. The sea was covered with oil… with wrecks, and pieces of wood.” One would be forgiven for mistaking this as a contemporary news account of a tragic event in the Mediterranean Sea. Instead, these are the words of a passenger on the SS Arandora Star, sunk by a German U-Boat off the coast of Ireland in July 1940. There are strong parallels between this event and the growing list of contemporary disasters in the Mediterranean. One particularly interesting parallel is that the sinking of the Arandora Star resulted in a sudden aboutface of British public opinion on government policy, comparable to the recent shift in public perception of refugees following the multiple disasters in the Mediterranean Sea. In the context of what seemed to be an imminent German invasion from the spring of 1940, widespread paranoia began to frame the approximately 20,000 German nationals residing in Britain as an infiltrating ‘fifth column’ undermining the British state. The government began a policy of interning the bulk of this population, sometimes resulting in deportation. However, pressured by the outcry following the Arandora Star’s sinking, the British government was forced to retract this policy and within a year most interned foreign nationals had been released. This could be partly attributed to the fact that the sense of crisis had diminished by 1941, due to Britain’s air superiority over the German Luftwaffe, but it is unlikely the government would have acted as swiftly without popular pressure forcing its hand. This is an example of compassionate public opinion influencing government policy, but it remains a notable exception in a history of British immigration policy marked by extreme treatment of those labelled ‘outsiders’. Anti-outsider sentiment has been fuelled by political and media rhetoric characterising a specific group as ‘unBritish’ or representing foreign values, which in turn has fuelled waves of ever-harsher policies towards them. The targets have changed over time: whereas Irish and Lithuanian immigrants suffered most from this characterisation in the early nineteenth century, Britain’s Jews were turned on in the 1930s. Today it is Muslims who bear the brunt of most anti-migrant rhetoric. The government views immigration legislation as an effective scapegoat for the country’s problems, particularly during a period of economic crisis; it is no coincidence that anti-migrant sentiment flared up throughout the Long Depression of the 1870s, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the recent global financial crisis. Only a skim over British legislation on immigration is needed to appreciate the relationship between public paranoia and government policy. The 1905 Aliens Act empowered immigration officers to exclude ‘undesirables’, such as the poor or the mentally ill;
the 1914 Aliens Restriction Act allowed for the deportation of people fleeing religious persecution; the 1920 Aliens Order granted the Home Secretary power to deport anyone ‘not conducive to the public good’, and there was authorisation for widespread internment and deportation during both world wars. The post-war years of growth and prosperity are marked by their lack of mainstream anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy, but this lasted exactly as long as the feeling of economic security. With the economic shocks of the late twentieth century came renewed antiimmigration sentiment: the 1971 British Nationality Act, restricting the right of Commonwealth citizens to reside in the UK; the 1988 Immigration Act ensuring fast-track deportations; the UK Borders Act 2007, giving immigration officers police-like powers; and so on. There is not space in this article to give a full list. Worth noting is the increasing rate of such legislation, with six major Acts during the last Labour government alone.
Detaining non-British nationals became accepted policy during the world wars. Similar detention during peacetime had been codified in law since 1920, but it was only following the 1971 Immigration Act that it became commonplace to temporarily detain immigrants and asylum seekers until their status was confirmed. By the 1990s this had become a key feature of the UK’s border policy, now including purpose-built internment facilities. Anti-terror legislation passed in the aftermath of 9/11 has furthered this trend, removing any detention time limit. JeanClaude Paye has argued that this constitutes the end of habeas corpus, the right of a detained individual for their detention to be examined by a court of law. That such a long-established tradition has gradually been overturned over the last century with virtually no public outcry indicates the popular enthusiasm for controlling ‘the enemy within’ at any cost. The history of British immigration policy is not uplifting reading, but exceptional instances of compassion, such as in the aftermath of Arandora Star or the recent shift in public perception of refugees, are positive signs that we can build on. This compassionate energy needs to create long-term change in immigration and asylum policy, but we cannot forget that there are people affected by our system right now, who need support. Take a look at the ‘Refugees Welcome in the UK’ Facebook page to see all the different ways you can help right now, whether by donating your time, money or old clothes, or by pressuring your MPs to do better.
Terror & Tranquillity
Saudi Arabia and the Destruction of Islamic Cultural Heritage
By Elle Arscott
Whilst the West despairs over the destruction of the Arch of Palmyra, the walls of Nineveh, and the lamassus of Nimrud by Islamic State, a second wave of cultural heritage destruction is sweeping across the Middle East almost unnoticed. The international media has devoted extensive coverage to the obliteration of museums and archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria by Islamic State fighters, but for the most part has failed to report on the countless monuments and artefacts destroyed every day by Saudi Arabia, both in its own country and, lately, in the Yemen. In January 2002 Saudi Arabia demolished a 200-year-old Ottoman castle in Mecca in order to build a five-star hotel, residential complex and parking lot. The original fortress was built in 1780 by Ottoman Turks in order to protect the Ka’aba and other Islamic shrines in Mecca from bandits, including invading Wahhabi radicals – ironically the ultra-orthodox branch of Sunni Islam that now makes up the dominant minority in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis defended their actions by citing the understandable need to provide accommodation for the almost three million Muslim pilgrims who journey to Mecca every year, but Turkey, who viewed the destruction of the Ottoman Ajyad Fortress as ‘cultural genocide’ demanded a UNESCO intervention. This was unsuccessful and the castle was bulldozed. The Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, who saw the castle in 1814, described it as a very large and massy structure, surrounded by thick walls and solid towers… It contains a large cistern and a small mosque; and might accommodate a garrison of about one thousand men. To Arabs it is an impregnable fortress… even against Europeans, it might offer some resistance. ‘Large and massy’ the Ajyad Fortress may have been, but the new Abraj al Bait Royal Makkah Clock Tower complex towers over the Ka’aba like Godzilla considering a peanut. The Ajyad Fortress is far from the only architectural casualty in Saudi Arabia. Experts at the Washington-based Gulf Institute have estimated that over 90 per cent of the archaeological treasures of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have been demolished in the last two decades alone. This is all the more remarkable when you take into account that the vast majority of these sites are neither secular, pagan, Christian, nor Ottoman – they are early Islamic holy sites. For example, the house of Khadijah, the Prophet’s first wife, has been bulldozed and replaced with public lavatories whilst the Prophet’s own birthplace is now a library, soon to be further damaged with the addition of underground parking. The human dangers of the extensive modernisation of Mecca were also made clear earlier this year when a construction crane collapsed into the Masjid al-Haram, killing an estimated 111 and injuring 394. The destruction of early Islamic heritage by Saudi authorities is not even unique to sites popular with tourists and pilgrims, where the need for modern facilities could be argued to outweigh the preservation of historic buildings. For example, the Tomb of Eve, a debatable archaeological site in Jeddah, was sealed with concrete by religious authorities in 1975. Meanwhile, abject disregard for cultural heritage has spilled over into Yemen. Although Yemen was once part of the wealthy caravan kingdom of Sheba (home of the legendary queen) knowledge of Yemeni culture and history
is sadly lacking around the world. Now it is in danger of being lost forever, as a coalition of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia – and with logistical support from the USA – has been waging war against a Shia rebel group who now controls the country’s capital, Sana’a. A UNESCO list of Yemeni protected areas has done little to minimise the destruction, particularly in the World Heritage Site of Sana’a old town. Elsewhere, the Great Dam of Marib, a 2,800-year-old marvel of engineering almost twice as long as the Hoover Dam, has been struck four times by missiles, whilst some of the oldest surviving fragments of the Koran are constantly in danger of being bombed. Forces fighting along Yemen’s southern coast have reputedly destroyed the 700-year-old Sheikh Omar Ali al-Saqaff mosque in Lahf, whilst earlier this year a Saudi airstrike destroyed the Dhamar Regional Museum. The museum held more than 150 ancient South Arabian inscriptions, including the oldest-known texts from the Yemeni highlands, plus an important fourth-century wooden minbar. The Saudi destruction of historic sites is closely linked to Wahhabism, the Sunni branch of Islam, which rejects the ideas of bid’ah (innovation/reformation) and shirk (idolatry). Wahhabism advocates a pure Islam, dedicated only to Allah, and also denounces the veneration of saints, the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday, the use of ornamentation in mosques, prayer at tombs (including the tomb of the Prophet), and taking non-Muslims as friends. Wahhabism is part of the impetus behind Islamic State’s desire to erase all monuments, whether sacred or secular, from the map. The West’s failure to raise any serious issue about the Saudi destruction of Islamic cultural heritage raises some serious questions. Do we only care about the ‘star’ attractions, big name archaeological sites that were popularised by western archaeologists from the time of the Enlightenment? Palmyra, Nimrud and Nineveh are known to most people with a smattering of classical education – or at least to those who have visited the British Museum. This attitude would explain why the western media has failed to headline the destruction of any of the Islamic historic sites and monuments mentioned above. Surely all these sites and their cultures are worthy of our recognition and safekeeping, or at least our outrage when they are wilfully destroyed or desecrated? We are witnessing the obliteration of centuries of Islamic culture – a culture as deserving of our protection as any classical site endangered by Islamic State.
Terror & Tranquillity
Islamic State’s Capture and Destruction of the Ancient Syrian Site of Palmyra By Matthew Mitchell After militant group Islamic State (IS) desecrated several important ancient sites in Northern Iraq earlier this year, the world could only watch in horror and with bated breath as IS captured the modern Syrian town of Palmyra and its adjacent ancient ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The world-renowned ruins have since faced horrifying devastation. Despite mass outrage, including the chief of the UN’s cultural agency describing it as a ‘war crime’, little has or, it appears can, be done about the carnage inflicted by IS on these sites. The reason this is important is that the ruins are not only of regional but of global significance; preserved in the ruins of Palmyra is both a national and an international heritage. Palmyra is a meeting and synthesis of East and West. In its extensive history, the city has belonged to an astonishing array of cultures. Caravans from China, India and Arabia have all passed through on their way to the Roman provinces. Its art and architecture combines Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences. The leading French archaeologist, André Parrot, struck by the ruins’ universal significance, said: ‘Every person has two homelands… His own and Syria’. Archaeological finds in Palmyra date back to the Neolithic but it was not until its incorporation into the Roman Empire in the first century that the city truly flourished, becoming one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. The sense of the place is perhaps best evoked by Gertrude Bell, the British traveller, archaeologist and poet, who wrote on 20 May 1900 of Palmyra: I wonder if the wide world presents a more singular landscape. It is a mass of columns, ranged into long avenues, grouped into temples, lying broken on the sand, or pointing one long solitary finger to Heaven. Beyond them is the immense Temple of Baal… And beyond, all is desert, sand and white stretches of salt and sand again, with the dust clouds whirling over it and the Euphrates 5 days away. It looks like the white skeleton of a town, standing knee deep in the blown sand. On 23 August 2015 it was reported that the Temple of Baal Shamin, built nearly 2,000 years ago and one of the best-preserved and most unique buildings on the site, had been levelled by explosives. This sort of cultural terrorism is an integral part of IS ideology. Just this year IS have ransacked the central library of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, burning thousands of books, and destroyed inimitable artefacts in the city’s museum. In March, IS used explosives and bulldozers on Nimrud and Hatra, two of Iraq’s most precious archaeological sites. Now it seems there is no site safe from the mindless iconoclasm of IS. The destruction of artefacts for ideological value has catastrophic effects on our understanding of history, but it is nothing new. A similar strategy was articulated by Nazi propagandist Baron Gustav Braun von Stumm, who said: ‘We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide’. This ideology is a central part of IS and its practices. Their destruction has three broad purposes. The first, as specified in the eighth issue of the IS glossy magazine, abiq, is that the ancient cultural heritage of Syrians and Iraqis stands as a threat to their
own claim to their loyalties and to its legitimacy. The destruction is part of their wider campaign both against polytheism and the worship of, as they see it, false idols and against any ‘nationalist agenda’, favouring a unified Islamic state across the whole region. Their other motivations are far more insidiously practical. The first of these exists for the same reason as the magazine and the brutal videos of beheadings and summary killings. It is largely for the sake of publicity that IS attacks these ancient sites. Videos shared online attract millions of views, brainwashing and encouraging psychopaths and disaffected Muslims to the IS cause and allowing IS to continue as it does with fresh recruits from around the world. Lastly, it is not cheap to run a terrorist organisation the size of IS and a vital source of income is provide by the sale of looted archaeological treasures. The UN believes that this is being done on an industrial scale, adding tens of millions of dollars to IS’s wider war economy. According to the Financial Times, the IS trade in archaeological goods has risen because other revenue streams— such as oil—have become less practical. So what is to be done? Short of military intervention most argue that it is their income that needs to be hit hardest. Earlier this year the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling on countries to prohibit the trade in illegally removed cultural materials from Syria and Iraq. This can only go so far, however, and experts say the only way to prevent looting is to stigmatise the international market for antiquities – an approach that has proved effective in the fight against poaching. Much like the demand for ivory, looting has to stop with the market. Many point out that it is not the destruction of ancient sites that is the greatest tragedy inflicted by IS, but the tremendous suffering and loss of life; more than 240,000 have died in Syria’s conflict since March 2011. This is undoubtedly true, but as Amr al-Azm, the former head of Syria’s conservation laboratories, points out: ‘People without their heritage and history are not a people. Preserving heritage is as much about preserving Syria as preserving its people’. The role of artefacts and sites such as Palmyra are powerful. They are tangible evidence of a people that have endured for thousands of years and can continue to do so.
Reviews Waiting for Godot Enzo W. DeGregorio The Edinburgh Royal Lyceum Theatre’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a triumph, and a fitting celebration of two anniversaries: 60 years since the play’s original production, and 50 years since the Lyceum’s own debut. Beckett’s existentialist tragicomedy, set against the evening backdrop of only a country road and a tree, follows Estragon (Bill Paterson) and Vladimir (Brian Cox) as they contemplate life while waiting for the mysterious Mr Godot to arrive. The play is cosmetically barren and linguistically repetitive, but deliberately so, and the Lyceum’s production does an excellent job of portraying the terror that lies behind the tranquillity of this landscape. Though it seems odd to praise stage design in a play where the only guidance on this is ‘A country road. A tree. Evening’, Designer Michael Taylor’s clever usage of a covert ramp makes the abyss that is the play’s setting appear to stretch on endlessly. When this is combined with Lighting Effects Designer Mark Doubleday’s very gradual shifts in lighting, the effect is to reproduce in the audience the characters’ sense that this is a world in which the laws governing time and space have somehow been subverted, and the production is stronger for it. Also deserving of praise is the costume design. Vladimir and Estragon’s shabby vaudeville actor suits stand in stark contrast to the aristocratic garb of Pozzo (John Bett) and his mackintosh-wearing slave Lucky (Benny Young). This reinforces the play’s classism, which itself feeds into the existential terror about identity and human agency, or the lack thereof, in the play’s world. Standout among the cast of this production is Brian Cox’s Vladimir. Unsurprisingly to anyone familiar with his work, Cox handles his character’s comic and tragic extremes with subtlety and panache, and the result is a performance that elicits both laughter and pity. Cox’s rendering of Beckett’s lines is so natural that audience members might be fooled into thinking that he is ad-libbing, though this never occurs in the production. Paterson’s Estragon is similarly virtuoso though his timing did sometimes seem slightly off, somewhat breaking the flow of the play’s frequent sections of stichomythia. Pozzo and Lucky are also rendered as a suitably Hegelian duo by Bett and Young. Bett is convincing as both the Pozzo that acts as Lucky’s master and his slave, and Young portrays the extremes of Lucky’s stoicism and emotional outbursts with great gusto. Overall Mark Thomson’s direction has produced a faithful and enjoyable production of Godot, and one destined to leave audiences pondering the question that Estragon poses at the start of the second act: ‘What do we do, now that we are happy?’
All Quiet on the Western Front Frances Roe The centenary of the First World War hangs over the next few years. This anniversary is prompting new academic writing, literature, television and radio, which reflect on the war and the impact it has on us today. Whilst all these mediums shed light on the events of those dreadful four years and their aftermath, it is important to revisit the sources of the time to unearth the realities of the war, and the experiences of those directly involved. All Quiet on the Western Front, was published in 1928 and is based on the frontline experiences of its author, Erich Maria Remarque. He was conscripted into the German army in 1917 at the age of eighteen. The text was extremely popular when first published, selling over one and a half million copies in 1929. It was also made into an Academy Award winning film in 1930. The novel is a fascinating source that presents the perspective that most British readers are least familiar with - that of the ‘enemy’, the Germans. Remarque begins the novel with a disclaimer of sorts: This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure… It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war. The text professes the confusing juxtaposition of the extremes of quasi-modern warfare: utter boredom and constant fear of a violent and painful death. The men go from endlessly waiting, smoking, talking and killing millions of lice, to being pushed over the top straight into hand-to-hand combat, fighting to the death with men who mirror them in almost every way apart from their language. Through the exploration of these poles of warfare, the novel encapsulates both terror and tranquillity. Images in the text veer violently between those of beauty, nature and camaraderie, and those of death, destruction and the immense pity of war. Any reader, at any point in this novel’s existence, will be aware that the Germans lost and were blamed for the war; the allies are seen as the heroes and the Germans generally as a homogenised evil invader. However, All Quiet undermines this by unbinding the blur of ‘evil’ German soldiers into individuals with same hopes, dreams and extreme fear as the opposing armies’. Remarque detaches the common soldiers from those giving the orders, adding perspective and allowing the reader to engage in both sides of the story. Like much of the literature of the war, All Quiet captures the futility and unpredictability of the conflict. Characters you have got to know through the course of the text are suddenly dead, wounded, or gassed, torn from your imagination as those whom they represent were torn from reality a hundred years ago. Its stark depiction of war made it a censored and publicly burned book following the Nazi’s rise to power in 1933. Nevertheless, it has survived the test of time and still resonates with modern readers. It is a staple of war literature and will remain in the historical literary cannon, I hope, for years to come.
Terror & Tranquillity
Photography: A Victorian Sensation at the National Museum of Scotland
Meet the pioneers of photography and discover how the Victorian craze for the photograph transformed the way we capture images today and mirrors our own modern-day fascination for recording the world around us.
Justin Kurzel’s new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a visual, visceral force. This is a dynamic, mighty Macbeth, a film that deftly juxtaposes terror with tranquillity. Violence, war and murder play out on screen, yet Scotland’s rolling, majestic crags, valleys, and mountains remain unmoved. Through this striking backdrop, Kurzel accentuates the contrast between the transience of human life – which changes, deviates, inwardly implodes – with the eternity of the natural word, synonymous with the divine and ethereal. These visuals are so stunning that, in another film, they would threaten to steal all the thunder. Not so here: Macbeth is a movie buoyed by a tour-de-force, a career-defining performance from Michael Fassbender as the eponymous Scottish king. Fassbender is devastating throughout: from the first shot of Macbeth’s heartbreak as he buries his dead child, to his war-torn, ravaged face on the battlefield, to his transformation into a wrathful, regretful murderer. As Lady Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most iconic and most difficult roles, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard is Fassbender’s more than worthy co-star. Even more ambitious, malevolent and scheming than her husband, it is Lady Macbeth’s encouragement that drives Macbeth forward into the darkness. Cotillard is magnificent here, simultaneously calculating and vulnerable, plagued both by heartbreak and unstoppable ambition. Her expressive face conveys a multitude of mixed feelings and her inevitable death feels a true tragedy. The film is a fast-paced, evocative concoction of drama, emotion and visual potency that will appeal to Shakespeare buffs and newbies alike. The only criticism that could be levied at this Macbeth is the authentic combination of Scottish accents and Shakespearean language occasionally makes the dialogue hard to follow. Fortunately, the standout visuals and impressive acting ensure meaning is always conveyed. Jed Kurzel’s score also impressively communicates meaning and deserves plaudits – it is intoxicatingly effective. The cinematography and classic themes of death, romance, ambition and tragedy give Macbeth a truly epic feel. Kurzel is aware that a true epic contains moments of tranquillity. Some of the film’s most memorable scenes are wordless and silent; as when a single tear runs down Macbeth’s face, or the expressions of pure terror as a family come face-to-face with death. Kurzel’s Macbeth remains loyal to Shakespeare’s original vision: any deviations and additions are considered and worthy. The film is rounded out by a noteworthy supporting cast. The usurped, doomed King of Scotland is played with regal power by David Thewlis. Meanwhile, as Macbeth’s avenger Macduff, Sean Harris conveys loss, anger and heartbreak with poignancy and veracity. Jack Reynor (A Royal Night Out, Transformers: Age of Extinction) plays King Duncan’s son, Malcolm, the rightful heir to the Scottish throne, establishing himself as a rising star to watch. Simultaneously faithful to Shakespeare’s original and the spirit of the Scottish play, Macbeth is one of the most cinematically striking movies of the year. As the credits roll amidst shots of the Scottish hills, you’ll find yourself catching your breath and desperate to watch this movie again.
This summary attached to Photography: A Victorian Sensation’s website says it all. The exhibition tackles several aspects of the photography’s development in the nineteenth century, from the scientific to the social, whilst holding true to this main theme. Its organisers have sought to penetrate what it sees as the falsely tranquil demeanour of the subjects of Victorian photography, to reveal what lies beneath: a near equivalent of today’s ‘selfie’ culture, and a Victorian public enthralled by this new way of looking at themselves. In the humble opinion of one who cavorted through its halls in a top hat, they have done it successfully. The exhibition winds its way through the second floor of the National Museum of Scotland, following the careers of British photography’s founding fathers, whilst also highlighting the commercial side of the sensational invention. As the daughter of impoverished inventor Frederick Scott Archer tells the visitor via video, it was not uncommon to fall victim to the so-called ‘Victorian Craze’. The walls are lined with case upon case of photographs, thousands of small insights into the personal worlds of their subjects. My favourite was one deliberately stained with colour: two small girls with striking blue dresses sitting on their mother’s lap. A particularly evocative comment on it all is a colour lithograph depicting the mania that ensued in Paris when a do-ityourself camera first became available to buy, the aptly named ‘La Daguerréotypomanie’, created by Theodore Maurrisset in 1839. These were more than just pictures: they were art, cherished by those whom they were made for because the images were simply so miraculous. Tell that to those arguing today that selfie culture is vapid and inconsequential. True to form, we are of course made aware of the Scottish context of photography’s development. Many early photographers went to Scotland to practice and refine their craft, and the city was a hub of photography studios, one of which appears in an engraving of a view across Edinburgh by artist Joseph Woodfall Ebsworth. Small figures can be seen shivering in front of a camera on the rooftop of photographer James Howie’s studio. Pale early photographs of well-known city sights are also shown across the exhibition, making sure to remind us exactly where we are and what delights Scotland has to offer. The exhibit also has plenty of interactive opportunities, which are equally as fascinating to adults as they must be for children. There is a chance to snap a photo in the crowds of the 1851 Great Exhibition, become Victorians in a photo studio, and experience the wonder of stereographic 3D images. Indeed, reaching the end of the exhibit, the selfie parallels are made explicit. After ending in 1889 with the Kodak slogan ‘you push the button, we do the rest’, you are met with interactive screens set up for you to snap your final moments in the exhibition. Photography: A Victorian Sensation ran at the National Museum of Scotland from 19th June 2015 to 22nd November 2015.
Terror & Tranquillity
Woman in Gold
A dodgy Austrian accent, an unlikely partnership and an important message are the underlying elements of director Simon Curtis’ latest film Woman in Gold. The film tells the story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish refugee from Vienna living in Los Angeles. Alexi Kaye Campbell’s screenplay chronicles Maria’s struggle to successfully reclaim Gustav Klimt’s portrait of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer, the so-called ‘Woman in Gold’. This painting had been stolen by the Nazis some 60 years earlier. With the help of lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) the pair go on to eventually sue the Austrian government, taking their right to do so all the way to the Supreme Court. Despite Helen Mirren’s unconvincing Austrian accent and the often forced humour between the lead characters, what really gives the film its sense of gravity is the flashback scenes which are interspersed throughout the main action. It is through these scenes that Curtis injects the real sense of terror faced by Maria Altmann and her family at the beginning of Nazi occupation in Austria. This sense of fear is compounded by Martin Phipps and Hans Zimmer’s stunning original score. Additionally, Allan Corduner’s performance as Maria’s father, Gustav, is highly poignant. Gustav refuses to allow his daily life to be shattered by the Nazi occupation and determinedly continues his cello practice against the backdrop of such chaos and fear. It is when Randy Schoenberg convinces Maria to travel back to Austria that we learn that not only did the Nazis steal her aunt’s portrait, but they also stole her identity as Adele Bloch-Bauer, reducing her to merely a ‘Woman in Gold’. Therefore, this portrait becomes a symbol for the Nazi attempt to eradicate the Jewish community from history. Mirren’s character explains her motives in pursuing her case, arguing that ‘people forget you see, especially the young’. Maria here articulates the crux of Campbell’s screenplay: it is necessary to keep the memory alive. Not only must we remember the lives of the Jewish community from before the war but we also must remember the memories of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, to ensure that history does not repeat itself. The closing scene of the film, in which Maria Altmann visits her childhood apartment, feels somewhat contrived. Curtis blends the two worlds he has created as Maria steps through each room of her home, interacting with her family and friends of a time gone by. Whilst this is certainly an emotive concept, it fails to be convincing in its execution. In the final montage we see Maria come face to face once more with her aunt, illuminated against the backdrop of the ‘Woman in Gold’. What Campbell’s script makes clear, despite the flaws in its portrayal, is that with an estimated 100,000 artworks still not restored to their rightful owners, the persecution faced by the Jewish community must never be forgotten.
It has been a long time coming, but finally director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady) have produced a gripping and forthright film that tackles the militant women’s suffrage movement of pre-war Britain. Set in 1912 in the heart of London and primarily concerned with working-class women, the film centres on the life of fictional character Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan). Maud spends her days working long hours under the sweltering conditions of a Bethnal Green laundry house, where she is confronted on a daily basis with sexism and misogyny. Maud’s growing sense of this inequality brings her into contact with the women’s suffrage movement. Their tactics of civil disobedience appeal to Maud, a woman forced to work just as much as her husband, but somehow still worth less. The film’s depiction of Maud’s inequality culminates in the scene in which her estranged husband puts her son up for adoption, and Maud can legally do nothing. This moment proves to her once and for all why the Suffragette movement is important. The film offers an important insight into the lives of women who decided to campaign violently for their right to vote. Maud’s suffering is shown in a particularly horrific scene of forced feeding, an event which pricks the conscience of even the stalwart male detective following her movements. The movie’s climax is the muchdebated death of Emily Davison at the King’s Derby in June 1913, which provided the Suffragette movement with a martyr and bought the plight of women’s suffrage to the forefront of British press and politics. Mulligan gives a harrowing performance, alongside a cast of spectacular actors including Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Romola Garai and a small, but crucial, appearance by Meryl Streep as the movement’s leader, Emmeline Pankhurst. The femaleheavy cast are strong but the male characters remain largely one dimensional and undeveloped, existing primarily as husbands and police officers, antagonists for the women to struggle against. Even Bonham Carter’s supportive husband ends up locking her up at home, concerned for what participation in the violence is doing to her health. This is perhaps due to a casting problem: the director admitted finding male actors to fill the roles was difficult, since the male parts were relatively small compared to those of Mulligan and Bonham-Carter. That said, Meryl Streep had nothing but enthusiasm for her part in the film, however small. Nevertheless this film has a larger goal in mind than just its artistic success. Sisters Uncut, an activist organisation that protests the cuts to domestic violence services in the UK, raided the red carpet at the London premiere of the film in early October to demonstrate that women are still discriminated against daily in this country. Similarly there are still sixty-two million women worldwide who do not have access to an education and there are still more countries where women do not have suffrage than those in which they do. This film is a stark reminder that women had to fight bitterly and lose much for their basic human rights – rights which many today take for granted – to achieve the vote and that there is still a long way to go.
Historical Fiction Captain FAC Scrimger, 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment), just outside Yrpres: 25th April 1915. ‘SIR, the last ambulance has left for Wietje!’ a messenger called through the stable door. Blast. I uttered a profanity and wiped my brow with the back of my hand, muddling blood and God-knows-what-else with the sweat and dirt that had accumulated over the last six hours. I dared not look up. I couldn’t look at the row of casualties coughing, bleeding, leaning against the stable walls. I couldn’t look any member of my beleaguered team in the eye at this point. I had no plans, no course of action, no thoughts. Just exhaustion. Reaching back to the heavy workshop table, I pulled myself in to look at the patient lying there. His abdomen was riddled with holes; my men, with frantic hands and scraps of shirt fabric and hessian sack, battled to stop the relentless flow of red. I pushed my already blood-soaked sleeve up and reached into the fray, feeling the hot spurts of blood under my fingers as I tried to think of a way to help the poor boy. For boy is all he was. Turning to look at his face, I could see the terror etched in the lines and wrinkles he was too young to have, the horror of war mirrored in his eyes; I could tell then those eyes did not see me back. I closed my eyes and shook my head, and as I did, it was as if all the guttural sounds of war returned to my ears. The smell of sweat, blood, ash, smoke and death returned to my nostrils, the vibration of distant shellfire rattled upwards through my feet; I swear I could almost taste the battle. ‘He’s gone,’ I whispered. The corporal next to me pushed me out of the way and clutched the boy’s face with both hands, then with a sudden gentleness, closed the two green eyes, those two, terrified eyes. The barn shook violently and dust cascaded down on us, the shellfire seeming closer than ever. ‘Heads down!’ the yell from across the farmyard. Men dived in all directions as a shell smashed into the adjacent building. As I pushed myself up off the floor my ears were ringing, and I coughed and spluttered on the dusty air. I stumbled for the door of the stable and peered out into the chaos beyond: men scurrying frantically to collect their equipment in preparation to evacuate the farmyard. The barn next to the stable had been completely levelled by the most recent bombardment. We weren’t evacuating fast enough. I could see the men were shaken by the proximity of the shellfire, and were clearly flagging, emotionally and physically, from days of fighting and the ever-advancing enemy. ‘Ho!’ I grabbed a passing soldier, pulling him in to the stable wall, ‘Get behind the farmhouse; there’s a horse in the paddock there, I need him bridled and ready to move this cart, we have to get these casualties out of here.’ The man was trembling and staring straight past me, not hearing what I’d said. ‘Look at me. Look in my eyes,’ I said, gripping his shoulder. The soldier was still quaking. ‘What’s your name, Private?’ ‘John, sir.’ ‘John, did you hear what I said? Go and ready that horse. We are getting the wounded into the cart, and we are walking up that road together, do you understand me?’
Mouse Trap Farm Dan Greenwood
‘We are all walking up that road together, and no one else is going to die today.’ ‘Sir,’ John acknowledged, ‘Thank you, sir.’ He ran around to the south side of the farmhouse, and I turned back to face into the stable to see Corporal Anderson helping a bandaged soldier to his feet. ‘Corporal, help these men round to the cart behind the farmhouse, leave as soon as you are ready.’ ‘Sir,’ Corporal Anderson stood up smartly. I smiled briefly. Corporal Anderson was invaluable in these situations, and I trusted him to get the wounded out of here without further input from me. Facing back into the farmyard, I took a deep breath: ‘Men! On me!’ The remaining twelve able-bodied soldiers gathered round, ‘Corporal Anderson is assisting the last of the wounded on to the cart-,’ I was stopped by the sound of shells crashing into the field just to the east of the farmyard, ‘-some urgency required?’ There were scattered chuckles at my sarcasm. ‘You are to escort the wounded to Wietje, where we are to be relieved. Double-time please.’ The men vocalised their understanding, and hurried off to help Corporal Anderson. I ducked down and headed round the North side of the stable. In the distance I could see a line of bayonets, advancing slowly across the uneven field. Time to go. As I went to go back to the farmyard to leave with the cart, I noticed a figure slumped against the wall. ‘Captain MacDonald?!’ I called. A grunt in reply. I hurried over, to find his left leg covered in blood, a makeshift tourniquet fastened around his thigh. ‘We need to get you out of here, Mac!’ He looked up, with a face as white as a sheet. ‘Leave me Frank… I can’t walk.’ ‘I promised the men earlier, Mac, we’re all walking out of here together, no-one else will die here today.’ I dropped my shoulder and, hauling Captain MacDonald up onto my back, set off into the farmyard. The farmhouse was ablaze now, and I could see the cart, a few hundred yards away down the Wietje road. It was going to be a long walk.
Historical Notes for Mouse Trap Farm Captain Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger received the Victoria Cross for his actions in assisting the wounded at ‘Mouse Trap Farm’, he carried Captain MacDonald onto the road and as far as he could physically manage, until they were aided and transported to Wietje. At times of heavy shelling, Captain Scrimger used his own body as a shield for Captain MacDonald. The 2nd and 3rd Canadian Brigades were relieved by British units on 25 April, however on 26 April, the 2nd Brigade were ordered back to the line, which they did with depleted numbers and days of battle weariness. Nelson’s History of the War devotes a lengthy passage to the fine leadership of the Canadian officers. Historical Note for War Stories: Inspired by my Grandma My Grandma had many tales from ‘the war’ (World War Two), and one of them was of how she awoke in the night to find the BEF, rescued from Dunkirk, sleeping on the landing of her father’s pub in Midsomer Norton, Somerset. Why or how they had arrived there, a large distance away from Dover, I do not know. As she got older, my Grandma’s memory faded, but her recollection of Dunkirk seemed to grow ever stronger. The impression of the exhausted soldiers returned again and again to our dinner table, even when my Grandma struggled to recollect what she had done the previous day.
Terror & Tranquillity
The Eclipse Erin Baillie
War Stories: Inspired by my Grandma Hilary Bell
Walking through the cotton fields was one of Sarah’s favourite things to do. Her mother would take her every afternoon after lunch as they were walking to the village and Sarah always looked forward to it. But one day, Mama would not take her. ‘We’ll go tomorrow. Today, I have to make sure the laundry is done.’ Even at the tender age of four, Sarah knew her mother was lying. But what she didn’t know or understand was that her mother was terrified. That morning the family of a plantation owner only a few miles away had been found dead in their home. Rumours were that slaves had risen in rebellion, and subsequent investigations found other plantation owners dead in their houses. Warned by local officials to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, Sarah’s mother was not willing to risk the walk into town. As night fell, Sarah watched her parents pacing round and round the house, double- and triple-checking every lock on every door and window. Sarah trailed behind her father, too scared to be more than a few feet from him. She dared not ask what was happening or why her parents were so anxious. She was taken upstairs soon after and put to bed. Her mother lingered longer than usual but eventually, she left Sarah to sleep. Night-time was usually a magical time for Sarah; she would watch the moon rise from her bed. But not tonight. Sarah was just dozing off when she heard a loud bang outside. She jumped from her bed and peered out the window. In the dim light, she caught a flash of light on metal and hurried back to bed, pulling the covers up round her head, sobbing in terror. There was a scream, followed by a gunshot. Footsteps on the stairs. They were coming for her. She slid out of bed. Taking her teddy bear with her, she climbed into the fireplace. There was a recess just big enough to fit her tiny body. It was where she hid from her mama when she was in trouble. The door handle to her room squeaked. Footsteps came nearer. ‘The bed’s been slept in!’ ‘Search the room!’ These exclamations were followed by loud crashes of furniture being tossed aside. Sarah pressed herself further into the recess, trying to stay as quiet as she could. She wanted her mama! ‘We don’t have time for this!’
We got to stay up later in the summer. Long days chasing each other round the fields and evenings in a quiet corner of the pub playing rummy; shared half pints of shandy; treasures of speckled eggs from the chickens. Falling in long grass and ricocheting off the rope swing over the river. The summer of 1940 was different though, and one I’ll never forget. Every mention of it, all those awful documentaries and interjections on the wireless that brandished the men’s ‘constant cheer and unbreakable spirit’ do no service to the mess of that night. The most broken things I ever saw, I saw on 31 May 1940. We all went to bed early that night. The late summer sunshine was peeping through the slits in the blackout curtain, and I was uncomfortably awake, staring at the ceiling and angry at the game of rummy I had just lost. Pa came in to say goodnight, but his face was traced with fright. There was a ghost of something fearful behind his unsmiling eyes. ‘Don’t come out of your room tonight, Susan.’ What a silly thing to say! I didn’t sleep walk; I never crept out of my window for midnight play dates. I nodded, and returned to calculating my next rummy victory. But when I awoke to an uncomfortable darkness and the sound of thumping outside my door, Pa’s words came back to me. Grunts from outside. Mainly curious and vaguely terrified, I slinked out of the covers and tiptoed across the room, careful not to trip on my schoolbooks, hair clips and lace-ups dotted around the room. Inching open the bedroom door, I caught the gaze of a dark, exhausted eye. And another. The landing became a mass of dark eyes – of exhausted, empty, soulless eyes. Their corresponding mouths, and faces, and bodies were there too, limp limbs lying across each step on the stairs. The landing and the stairs – and the box room, I saw as I peered through the open doorway – were one mass of human beings: tired, bloodied, and battle-stained. They were a carpet of soldiers leading down to the hall, groaning, snoring. They were the rescued BEF of Dunkirk, and they were broken. On the wireless the next day came the reports of the tiny fishing boats that had gone out to save them. When I came down for breakfast the next morning, they were already gone.
Sarah heard the men leave. She slid down the wall and curled up in a ball on the floor. She didn’t know how long she stayed there. Time slipped into eternity. She would have stayed there forever, had her uncle, who had come to check his sister had not been affected by the rebellion, not remembered that Sarah liked to hide in her fireplace. He heard her ragged breathing the moment he opened her door. He lifted her out of the recess, her trembling body, cold and stiff. He carried her downstairs to the awaiting officials. Sarah peered out. A limp hand was visible from behind the door, lying in a pool of blood. Sarah tried to wriggle free but her uncle had anticipated this. So instead she screamed, ‘Mama!’, before she was bundled out of the house.
I still remember that day vividly. I don’t think you can ever get over something like that. I was orphaned that day. My father’s body was found by the door from the servants’ quarters. He had obviously been trying to hold the rebels back. Eventually, they found Nat Turner, the leader. And hanged him. It brings me no comfort. But his capture did offer something of an explanation: the inspiration for the rebellion, he said, was an eclipse.
Terror & Tranquillity
Liberté, Egalité, Tranquillité Lewis Twiby Paris, 8th Thermidor, Year II ‘Behold! The head of a counter-revolutionary who would have us bend our knees to a monarchical tyrant!’ To his eyes, Martin Colbert resembled a peacock garbed in his blue and red tailcoat and hat. The matching ribbons placed sporadically on his person added to this effect. Colbert never seemed to walk like an average Parisian but bounce with every step like some iridescent rabbit. As he watched, the lawyerturned-judge bounced on his heels making the ribbons comically dance up and down; it would almost be laughable if Colbert had not executed over 50 people over the last year. All Louis the innkeeper had ever done was say that the Jacobins had made it difficult to make a few livres extra because they had ensured that all his regulars had lost their throats. His head now being forced onto a pike reiterated how he now had emulated his regulars! ‘Constables!’ Colbert bounded ecstatically towards them, the crowd parting like the Red Sea for Moses before him. ‘We have plucked another weed from the garden of France. Vive la Nation! These aristocrats and traitors wish to befoul our beloved revolution but we shall stop them!’ ‘Will you be attending the Convention, Monsieur Colbert?’ Emile asked from beside him. He could feel his heart palpitate. This could go one of two ways and he prayed to God, and even to the Supreme Being, that he would not see Emile up on the guillotine for asking such a question. Someone heard his prayer as Colbert burst into a smile. ‘Why of course! I must make sure that Robespierre knows that the people of France are behind him. Robespierre a tyrant? A perfectly absurd accusation. Now gentlemen, I must make my way to the Convention.’ With that Colbert bounded down the twisting street with his brightly ordained ribbons flapping in the wind. Emile ambled off into the other direction, so he followed his friend. Hanging from the wooden buildings either side of them were red, white and blue banners flapping lazily in the wind. Each house had tried to outdo the last by sewing revolutionary slogans into the cloth or had tried to hang multiple banners simultaneously out of the same window. It was either outdo one another or face a close shave with the National Razor. It was strange to think that just five years beforehand they were shouting ‘Vive le Roy!’ with the rest of the city that was not starving. Now it was a battle to prove who was the most revolutionary. ‘We have a habit of stumbling across executions,’ Emile gave a gravelly laugh. He had not noticed that they had arrived at Place de la Révolution. Still as glamorous as it was under the royalty, it screamed beauty and elegance. Only the rotting heads on pikes fouled the image of grandeur. Two crows as black as the night were fighting over an eye which they had plucked out of one of the skulls. ‘The Terror’ was aptly named. He had wanted an end to tyranny; he wanted a France where he could say what he wanted to say, and eat without fear that it would be his last meal for the week. Did Louis the innkeeper really want despotism for having a little jape at Robespierre’s expense? Was that one little jape enough to warrant a trip to the guillotine just around the corner from where the other Louis lost his head?
‘Robespierre will lose his head,’ Emile said suddenly. ‘What?’ he could not believe it. Saying that out loud, let alone thinking it, would earn you a summary execution. ‘Have you lost leave of all your senses, Emile?’ ‘Robespierre’s been accused of tyranny. So were Louis, Marie Antoinette, Danton and the Girondins. Notice a pattern?’ Two days later He cringed at Robespierre’s screams. It was like a knife piercing his skin, going straight through to his soul. The executioner could have at least kept his bandage on; a thin strip of fabric would not stop the sharp blade of a guillotine. He was relieved when he heard the thud of the blade and then silence. ‘Told you,’ Emile was neither smug nor sullen. What they had just saw had been commonplace for the last year or so. Out of the other 16 executed in front of the Palace that day, Martin Colbert was the fifth to feel the guillotine’s kiss. Still wearing his array of blue and red ribbons he hopped towards his fate. With one thud his body bounced for the last time. ‘Do you think this is all over?’ he asked Emile. Surely now the Terror must have claimed its final victims. An end to the bloodshed must be in sight. ‘Hard to say, my friend. If I am to be brutally honest, I think we will only see an end to this when someone with true power surrounding them takes the country’s reigns.’ Would that ever happen? Paris, 2nd December, 1804 ‘Papa, put me on your shoulders. I cannot see!’ Anthony cried up to him. Smiling, he lifted his son up above the cheering throngs of the crowd. Virtually everyone was waving handkerchiefs and flags in front of the majesty that was Notre Dame. ‘Remember what you asked me, about ten years ago, when they executed Robespierre?’ Emile whispered into his ear, although it was more like a shout thanks to the rapturous applause of the crowd. He nodded. How could he forget that day? The crowd started screaming praise at even a higher volume. The doors to the cathedral had thundered open with a choir singing with all their hearts. Ahead of a throng of people was a man in a white velvet vest, a crimson tunic and a golden laurel upon his brow. He smiled and waved at the crowd. The People’s Emperor. ‘I told you so,’ Emile laughed. As Anthony laughed on his shoulders, he remembered the last 20 years. Had they substituted one tyrannical terror for another?
It has been an exciting past year for us at the Arts and Heritage Volunteer Group, and along with our new name we are hoping to expand our horizons and the opportunities that we have to offer students. Formerly known as the Scottish Culture and Heritage Volunteer group, we’re a relatively new organisation that has developed from a small group offering volunteer opportunities, to organising our own careers fair and publishing our first student led journal, The Edinburgh Student Heritage Research Project. The academic year 2014/15 was topped off for us when we won Best Volunteer Group at the EUSA 2015 Impact Awards, a huge success for a group new to the volunteering scene. Building on our success from last year, over the summer we changed our name to be more reflective of the work that we do, and in the coming year already have various exciting projects in the pipeline. Whilst continuing to build connections with organisations for our primary role of arranging volunteering opportunities and trips for students, we also have Careers and CV workshops lined up throughout the year that are tailored specifically for the heritage sector. We also hope to repeat the success of last year’s journal with a new student research project in 2016. As we continue to expand on past projects, we’re looking towards the New Year to further progress in widening participation amongst Edinburgh students in a notoriously closed off and tricky sector. Successful opportunities that we advertised last year included placements at St Giles Cathedral and Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, as well as one-off volunteering positions at Newhailes, a house just outside of Edinburgh run by the National Trust for Scotland. Our most popular opportunity was at the Anatomy Museum, which our members signed up to following an exclusive trip there. In addition to this we also ran two major trips outside of Edinburgh, one to the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, owned by National Trust for Scotland, and another to Linlithgow Palace, a Historic Scotland property. The latter of these was run jointly with Evolve Volunteering Group and so we helped out in the community before enjoying a sunny trip round the castle in the afternoon. For both trips we were fortunate enough to gain free or discounted admission and thus they sold out quickly! One of our most successful events was our careers fair, which we ran in January. The turnout was unprecedented with over 150 people attending throughout the course of the evening, and some students having traveled from as far as Glasgow and St Andrews. Our aim was to put students in contact with organisations around Scotland who were involved in arts, culture, and heritage work, and to give them an idea of the kind of jobs that were available to them in these sectors. We had speakers attend from various organisations such as Architectural Heritage Society Scotland, Edinburgh World Heritage, National Trust Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, Scottish Museums Federation, Museums and Galleries Scotland, and DigIt2015. The night was fantastic with students learning about these different organisations and the opportunities they have to offer. At the same time we pioneered The Edinburgh Student Heritage Research Project, which gave students of Edinburgh University the opportunity to submit an article and have it published in a professional-looking journal. The theme for this was architecture of historical, social, economic or cultural importance to Edinburgh and its skyline, preferably something with a connection to the student community. The submitted articles cover the vibrant anecdotes of Edinburgh’s past through the independent research and approaches of each writer. Examples vary from buildings of religious importance such as St Albert’s Catholic Chaplaincy, to the social function of Deaconess, to the political and national significance of the Scottish National War Memorial. Because it encompassed such a broad variety of buildings, the journal grew into a celebration of heritage for students and professionals alike. The Edinburgh Student Heritage Research Project is something that we hope to pursue again both this year and in subsequent years, giving students the opportunity to independently research and enjoy writing outside of their university courses, as well as a way for our volunteering group to celebrate art and architecture in the beautifully unique city of Edinburgh. After these previous successes, this year we are very excited to offer you more events, more careers development and even more volunteering opportunities! Already this year, we have delved into the heritage of Edinburgh, exploring the old town in our Freshers’ scavenger hunt and learning more about Edinburgh’s fascinating medical history at the University of Edinburgh’s own Anatomy Museum and the recently reopened Surgeons’ Hall Museum. We are in the midst of planning more trips over the next few months, including going behind the scenes at the Pantomime, and hopefully travelling further afield to Stirling and Glasgow to see some of the arts and heritage on offer. We have also been making contacts with lots of amazing organisations, including Historic Environment Scotland, to bring you fantastic volunteering opportunities allowing you to gain experience, develop skills and have fun while doing so! Make sure you keep an eye on our social media so you don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity for you. We are also well aware how daunting it can be thinking about the future and so not only are we planning on running another careers fair, we will also be running CV workshops and offering interview hints and tips and this year. We are planning to host University of Edinburgh’s first ever arts and heritage careers crawl in March: one day, multiple organisations and the chance to find out what it’s really like to work in the sector. So why not get in touch to find out more or have a look at our social media: email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/AHVolunteer @ahvolunteer Lauren Letch Publicity Manager
Allow us to introduce ourselves: we are an online student magazine focused on the travel experiences of University of Edinburgh Students. Crossroads is a space for young people embarking on adventures to share their experiences in one single digital platform. Our website welcomes all writers, photographers and vloggers to share their experiences of travel. We are particularly focused on the experience of the exchange process. Our online magazine, published monthly, contains articles from students who are abroad, who have recently returned to Edinburgh and those who have remained behind to tackle the harsh reality of third year. We strive to provide accounts of the changes throughout a year abroad, but also the changed experience for those in Edinburgh without their friends who have gone. We want to present an honest account of travelling, which is why we provide a theme each month to provoke thoughts that are perhaps unexpected in a magazine based around travel. We want to capture all the moments of travel, from fear and loneliness to wonder and awe. More than anything else we focus on honesty, we want to tell the real story of exchange, we want to publicise the highs and the lows. We are largely Edinburgh University students and the Scottish capital will always be the home of Crossroads, but our writer based is not confined to these roots. We welcome photos and articles from any of your travels, whether related to university exchange or not. In addition to our website and monthly magazine, Crossroads produces an annual journal to mark the end of one group’s exchange trip and the beginning of a new one. The journal will contain a selection of our highlights from the year as well as an in-depth research project that our editors select based on their own interests. We hope that Crossroads fills you with interest, delight and most importantly, itchy feet! Crossroads was founded in the dirty kitchen of our very cold flat in Marchmont. Whilst avoiding both housework and exam study, we entered into the mid-degree crisis, the panic that every university students knows all too well, the ‘what-am-I-doing-with-my-life’ moment. Our two other flatmates and best friends were accomplished and successful. One had passed her time playing on the best hockey team in Edinburgh, while the other balanced working for the EU with running the Volleyball team’s social lives. What about us? All we had ever achieved was sinking a VK or two in Potterow, and the occasional Hive ’til Five. It was time for us to fix up, look sharp as the great Dizzee had so gallantly taught us during our adolescent years. But what to do? What were we good at (other than demolishing many a Pad Thai)? Then panic really struck - we actually didn’t have much time left to turn ourselves into the well-rounded individuals we strove to be. One of us (the better looking, highly intelligent one) was soon to be flying off to spend the year in California. Meanwhile, the other (the hilarious, very tall one) remained in our beautiful Edinburgh getting firsts in all her essays whilst simultaneously gaining the body of Elle McPherson. That’s when we founded our new project. Why not find a way to make sure the two of us stayed in touch whilst embarking on our adventures? Forget Skype, iMessage and all these pretenders. There is no better way to stay in touch than writing 500 words in a blog post once a month. Fact. So there we had it: ‘Crossroads’: a space where anyone, around the globe, can share their experiences from both home and abroad. It is a place to document all kinds of adventures, from a night in Hive (till five) to paragliding in San Diego. Beginning as a means to stay in touch with friends from home, we hope that Crossroads will become the first place for those interested in doing an exchange to visit and more importantly, be a part of. Our magazine has multiplied and grown so quickly that we’re now looking for people to join the Crossroads team. Get involved in something from the ground up and help us to build a new University of Edinburgh institution – help us to make going abroad that bit easier for all our students. If you’re interested in any of the below job roles: drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you’re the right person to join the Crossroads team. (Can’t find the position you’re after but still keen to get involved? Email us anyway!) Marketing Officer We need a tech-savvy creative individual to take charge of marketing Crossroads. Most of your job would involve updating the Facebook and Twitter pages – but new ideas and innovation are always needed. The marketing officer would also be responsible for finding new ways to get students involved in Crossroads, from making announcements before classes to just telling your friends about it. This is a great opportunity to add to your CV, as you would have the opportunity to build a marketing department from scratch. Must haves: a sense of humour, a laptop, and a friendly smile. Section Editor (Two Positions) Interested in journalism? We need a sub editor (or two) to pre-edit our articles once a month. The section editors would be the first point of call for the articles. This dynamic duo split the articles down the middle and edit them for style and content. You would also have the chance to decide which pictures you think should go with them, and the order the articles should be published in. The Section Editors could work separately, or as a team – the choice is completely up to you. Once again this is a great way to add to your CV without taking up too much of your time as we only publish monthly. Please do get in touch. At the moment it’s just the two of us and we would really like to get more people involved in Crossroads. We’re also very nice people (promise) and would potentially be interested in buying you all a beer if you do a good job! Happy reading www.studentcrossroads.org Brid and Tiyah - Founders
I was attracted to the job because it was reading, researching and thinking. I am doing similar work to when I was a student but now it is more relevant to the everyday. PAULINA SLIWINSKA INVESTMENT ANALYST, GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY GRADUATE
45% of the investors at Baillie Gifford have Arts degrees with the highest percentage of these being historians and classicists. If you’d like to apply to our Investment Management graduate programme, please visit www.bailliegifford.com/graduates
Retrospect's Autumn/Winter 2015 issue encompassing the contrasting themes of 'Terror' and 'Tranquillity'. Read our academic pieces, features...
Published on Dec 7, 2015
Retrospect's Autumn/Winter 2015 issue encompassing the contrasting themes of 'Terror' and 'Tranquillity'. Read our academic pieces, features...