The Lost Promenade

This is a link to a blog set up by two artists (I think?) who have taken it upon themselves to start travelling around the coast of the UK to try and “make some new seaside memories”. In doing so they are presenting images and text about their experiences, leaving an archive of touching, insightful and usually amusing journal entries along with some beautiful images of their travels.  The latest post details a visit to Dungeness, home of the late Derek Jarman and a nuclear power station.  I’ve clipped an image from their blog below…

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Visit Britain report on the economic crisis and tourism

You can view this report by clicking here. Key findings include the view that tourism has become so much a part of our way of life that holidaying as a practice will be little affected – only those most paranoid and / or impacted upon by the crisis are planning to change their holiday plans for the coming year.  Worryingly, the research seems to suggest that the ground on which the UK’s tourism industry can compete against overseas destinations is on price, by attracting increased domestic tourist numbers to UK destinations and attractions.  The report proposes a number of pricing promotions (2 for 1, tokens, loyalty schemes etc), based on survey questions that suggested a number of ‘offers’ and asked respondents to rate them.  Although at the end of the presentation we briefly hear that tourists travel for non-economic reasons, this is not the report’s main focus.

Concentrating on price promotions runs the risk of initiating a ‘race to the bottom’ in domestic tourism, a deflationary pressure that may, in the medium to long term, reduce the resources available to tourism businesses, especially SMEs, the tourism sector who were the most damaged following the last major recession.  The lack of investment in domestic tourism in this period significantly affected product quality in the sector, as well as having a structural impact – removing diversity of supply from the market and further affecting perceptions of quality in the face of homogenization.

Introducing new competitive pressures in times of recession may help to ensure the survival of the best resourced, but I hope that our state tourism bodies will also be promoting new forms of partnership and supporting product innovation in the domestic tourism sector.  The economic pendulum will swing back eventually, probably some time around or after the 2012 Olympics in London, and if the UK tourism industry is to be able to capitalise on the promotional benefits of this event it will need to maintain its diversity and the huge improvements in quality and destination image made over the last fifteen years.

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Online development internship at Counterpoint, the British Council’s cultural relations think-tank

These are the details for an internship at Counterpoint, where I did some work in 2003.  They are a fascinating organisation, a small think tank within the British Council, with a remit to develop and extend the British Council’s thinking in areas including cultural diplomacy and intercultural communication.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Through its multicultural workforce in 110 countries, it harnesses the power of education, the arts, and creativity, sport, science, English language and governance to build relationships of mutual benefit worldwide and to address global issues.

Counterpoint aims to collect and catalyze the global thinking of the British Council and to add an international dimension to key debates in the UK. We are a core team of three, led by our new Director Dr. Catherine Fieschi (formerly Director of think-tank Demos).

Role: Counterpoint seeks new fora through which to engage new audiences in the conversation about cultural relations in the 21st Century. As our online developer, you will take a completely fresh look at our online offer www.counterpoint-online.org and suggest surprising solutions and new directions we can take.

Profile: Your confident approach to new and existing technologies will enable you to develop these exciting ideas with flair and assurance, using the right tools to reach, stimulate and extend new networks. You will be well-informed about international affairs and the new online communities committed to positive social change.

Where: Central London, Trafalgar Square, tube Charing Cross
Conditions: Unpaid but travel expenses within London will be reimbursed and lunch vouchers provided for our onsite restaurant. Full-time position for 2-3 months, with flexibility possible in terms of hours and some remote working.

To start: February 2009
Duration: 2-3 months
Please send CV, and covering letter with an example of your online activity to Counterpoint(at)britishcouncil(dot)org by 21 January and we will arrange meetings with short-listed applicants in the following week starting 26 January.

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Call for papers: Resorting to the coast

This looks like an excellent conference in Blackpool in June.  Download the flyer here.

From the CFP:

“Key themes of interest to the conference include:

·          Histories of coastal tourism developments and resorts;
·          Regeneration of coastal economies;
·          Social and environmental impacts of coastal developments;
·          Representations of seaside holidays in popular culture;
·          Worker migrations to coastal sites;
·          Beach behaviours and traditions;
·          Myths of the sea and coastal communities;
·          Coastal resort art and architecture;
·          Tourist coastal colonies.
Please submit a 300 word abstract including title and full contact details as an electronic file to the conference manager Daniela Carl (ctcc@leedsmet.ac.uk). You may submit your abstract as soon as possible but no later than 2nd February 2009.
Conference Organisers: Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change in partnership with the Institute of Northern Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.”

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Regulating The Night – review

My review of Deborah Talbot‘s ‘Regulating the Night’, a study of the gentrification of an area of South London that focuses on race and culture has been published in the Journal of Cultural Geography.  With the appropriate institutional or individual permissions you can read it here.

9780754647522

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Reading Marx’s ‘Capital’

Over at this blog you can watch, listen to, download or subscribe to a series of lectures given by David Harvey on Marx’s ‘Capital’.   This is a great resource of video lectures by one of the world’s most important Marx scholars.  There is something of a Marx revival going on at the moment as a response to capitalism’s latest systemic crisis, but a real lack of explication of Marx in the public domain. I’ve embedded one of the lectures below, but I’d recommend downloading them and viewing them offline, probably with a notebook!

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