21st Century Love


Overtime, dating has evolved quite fast and no one so it coming. People this days date online. The online dating platform has grown to be unimaginably huge that it has left researchers baffled.

Here are some facts about modern dating that may catch you by surprise

In 2010, dating websites such as eHarmony were crowded with people looking for dates. Back then, you would have thought that they were just intrigued by the fact that you can meet people online. Fast forward this to a year later when mobile applications had started taking root. People move and signed up for mobile dating apps that the number overtook those using websites. read more

Talking point: Appropriate terminology

One of issues that has come up in discussion with one of our case studies is the question of appropriate terminology: how should we talk about what we, in our project outline, have labelled ‘BME communities’? This term is currently being contested on two fronts, from those who think it should be expanded to ‘BAME’ (Black & Asian Minority Ethnic) and those who want to see it binned altogether. The term is basically a bureaucratic shorthand; local councils (and grant-giving bodies, for that matter) use it to mean… well, what exactly? An awful lot of the time I think it is used to mean people-with-darker-skin-not-like-us (’us’ being ‘the people who run this show’, in whatever context). It is also a way of labelling a group of people who, broadly speaking, suffer from a range of forms of social and economic disadvantage arising from both indirect structural and structural discrimination. So it can be very useful, but it’s not exactly empowering. But not to have a label for communities of different ethnic or ‘racial’ background is however equally problematic; culturally diverse groups soon become invisible and the spiral of discrimination and marginalisation continues (as is arguably the case in France – I’ve written about this before here and here, see also this article from the BBC). read more

Facts About Marriage Today


Marriage is still a valued institution in contemporary times. While marriage might not be for everyone it still remains a critical component of social stability, relational commitment and family strength. Here are some facts about marriage that will help to explain how people view marriage in modern times.

1. Many married couples spend less than four minutes a day together. This is because a lot of their time is divided between their children, jobs, school and outside responsibilities. The average family (married couple) is extremely busy and they are constantly on the go. Moms and dads usually do not have a lot of time during the week to spend with one another unless they make time. read more

Study day on ‘immigration archives’ (in French)

54Title: Study day on ‘immigration archives’ (in French)

Description: I missed this study day but it’s interesting to note what’s going on in France. The terminology is particularly interesting. Rather than ‘community archives’ in France the focus is on ‘immigration archives’ i.e. archives that document the arrival and subsequent history in France of different communities. What would the consequences be if we applied this terminology in the UK? The problem of course is that it risks defining members of diverse communities permanently as ‘immigrants’ i.e. perpetual outsiders. It creates difficulties in talking about populations who held the nationality of the host nation at the time of their arrival, e.g. migrants from the Caribbean. What would the impact be on visual and performing arts archives? read more

New book on identity

22459_9781412922432I’ve just seen this new reader advertised:

The list of contributors is impressive and I’d be particularly interested to read Jessica Evans’ chapter ‘Cathected Identities: Governance and Community Activism’. There does appear to be a strong Freudian dimension to the analysis, which is also interesting, and perhaps reflects the authors’ background in cultural studies.


New online participatory archive and some thoughts about virtual archives

The launch of a new website The Times of My Life has just been announced.

Its claims are grandiose (and not just in the tag line…):

The Times of My Life is a ground-breaking website which is set to create a revolution in the way we record our historical past. It will be one of the first ever websites specifically designed to allow users to record first hand accounts of their lives through text, images and video.

Social networking sites have become common place and eight out of ten people who are members of these sites go directly to them when turning on their computers. The Times of My Life is a social networking site and historical reference library rolled into one. read more

Principles of ‘Radical Archiving’

I have been recently re-reading the South African book Refiguring the Archive edited by Carolyn Hamilton et albook (New Africa Book, 2002) and I came across a reference that I must have missed before. In Graham Reid’s chapter on the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa is an account of New York’s Lesbian Herstory Archives (pp201-3), including a reference in a note to the Archives’ commitment to principles of ‘radical archiving’ that they had themselves devised. Although differing slightly from the principles as printed in Reid’s account, these radical principles based on a commitment to independence and autonomy appear on the LHA website http://www.lesbianherstoryarchives.org/history.html thus: read more

Catching History on the Wing: conference and book launch

Title: Catching History on the Wing
Description: A conference on the fight against racism – past and future – to mark 50 years of the Institute of Race Relations.

Speakers include:

* Welcome address – Lord Herman Ouseley
* Screening of Colin Prescod’s remastered film From you were Black, you were out on Notting Hill in the 1950s and \’60s
* Launch of Catching History on the Wing [Pluto Press], a new collection of A. Sivanandan’s writings, chair Lee Bridges
* Panel discussion on Islamophobia and Civil Society with Ruqayyah Collector, David Edgar, Liz Fekete, Arun Kundnani and Salma Yaqoob
* Closing remarks Victoria Brittain and A. Sivanandan read more

What does the government understand by community cohesion?…

… and what role is envisaged for community archives in delivering this agenda?community_cohesion

(This is what the government thinks community cohesion looks like – from the website of the Department for Communities and Local Government).

On Tuesday I attended a seminar at the V&A as part of their Diversity series (see this post) entitled ‘Museums as transformative spaces’. The speaker at the event was Henry Burgess from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who set out the government’s vision of community cohesion and how museums might contribute to it (but much of this applies to archives too). read more

Heritage and wellbeing workshop, or can heritage heal?

On Wednesday 25 June 2014 a very well attended workshop on the relationship between heritage and wellbeing took place under the auspices of new UCL centre for museums, heritage and material culture studies.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together those interested in the broad topic of ‘heritage and wellbeing’, including medical professionals, researchers, arts curators, and museum, library and archive workers to work towards the creation of a critical framework for assessing wellbeing in the context of heritage. The background to this seminar was an ongoing research project jointly run by UCL Museums and Collections and UCL Hospitals to exploring the potential benefits of museum object-handling sessions for patients and visitors. read more