Category: Roman Krznaric

Guest Post: the Christmas Snow Globe

Every year, Exeter Geography graduate and ex-followthethings.com intern Jemma Sherman gives her Dad a snow globe for Christmas. After taking our Geographies of Material Culture module the term before Christmas 2017, she made a new one. Here it is. And here’s what she wrote to him in his Christmas card… [actually it’s Jemma’s coursework. We really liked it].

Dear Dad,

Merry Christmas! I’m looking forward to getting home from Uni to see everyone again. For your present this year I’ve done something different – I hope you don’t mind! You see, I’ve been having these lectures which focus on the hidden lives within my commodities; the people who produce the components, assemble them and transport them. Our most recent task was to create an art-activist project on advent calendars. Art activism includes a “broad range of artists’ practices” (Grindon and Flood, 2014:10), highlighting social, political … and cultural struggles” (Darts, 2004:315). Flanagan (2009:3-4) says an artist is anyone who “creat[es] outside commercial establishments”, “making for making’s sake”. We discovered terrible things about the lives of those making these calendars, with children as young as twelve being exploited (Andrei, 2017). And this got me thinking about what else I get around Christmas time, which led me to our tradition. Well, your tradition really. I love it. Most years you get me a snow globe (if you can find one with a cute enough scene). I know that Carrier (2004:68) says “gifts within the core family are given without the expectation of equivalent in return”, but this year I wanted to give you one. You can open your present now – sorry, I’ve kind of ruined the surprise. There’re just a few instructions you need to follow (read first): Continue reading

St Valentine’s Day: love, following, things.

We are going to love this week at followthethings.com HQ.

We’ve redesigned our website’s header for the season. Here it is:

ftt valentine's day header

 

 

 

 

[click the Cherubs’ banner, and you will get to this page]

We’re adding Finland’s favourite chocolate to our site, a new page created by University of Helsinki MPhil student Eeva Kemppainen. She’s working with us in Exeter this Spring. She is creating our first pages to be simultaneously published in English and Finnish.

We’re re-creating a scene from this new page in Lego, to add to our ‘Made in Lego…’ flickr set.

We’ve started to tweet Valentine’s Day issues, stories and activism. Like this:

On Thursday, all of our efforts will come together in a public Lecture at the University of Exeter. It’s ‘The St Valentine’s Day public lecture: love, following, things.” Here’s the opening slide:

lecture poster

Here’s the description on its facebook event page:

Come take part in a public lecture and discussion that puts chocolate, renowned for its romancing qualities, under the spotlight this Valentine’s Day. Ian Cook (Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Exeter) will be using Finnish chocolate (following them through the world economy as physical goods) as a case study in a broader discussion of trade justice and emphatic socio-economic relations. The discussion will also cover the ways in which this approach to understanding the exchange of material goods can be taught and learned in universities, engaging students in the issue of trade justice activism in critical, creative and enthusiastic ways. The event will take place in the Peter Chalk Centre, lecture theatre Newman C. It will take place at 2pm on Thursday 14th February.

Everyone is welcome.

followthethings in a nutshell? Just watch these.

 

At followthethings.com HQ, we are big fans of the RSA Animate series. They really do bring those RSA lectures alive.

They’re also brilliant ways to introduce school and university students to key ideas and literatures.

These two, we think, make awesome introductions for anyone teaching with followthethings.com

The first is perhaps the most well known, with over 2m views. The second has just been published, and complements it beautifully.

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PS for more on the animator and the animation process, read this and look here.