02 July 2014

Tangible Things

Wartime, 1939-1944

Postcard sent to Laura (the UK). It shows the toy museum at Suomenlinna (Helsinki, Finland). I visited this place three years ago.

I have been enjoying this course about Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens and the Stuff Around You. Really interesting! And I want to share one of my exercises.

This was the question (after watching a video):
List at least five different ways you might redefine a common object in your own house. Explain your choices, using the template: “This is not a _________; it is a __________.”
My choice (a letter, of course!), and my answer:
1.        This letter is a written dialogue between people from the same family (my nieces and I), of different ages and living in different countries (Morocco/Spain). This is communication.
2.        Inside this envelope there is a letter written in my language (Catalan) which was forbidden some years ago, even in private communications. This is human rights.
3.        But you can see two more languages on the envelope (French and Arabic). This is intercultural experience.
4.        I paid 8,40 Moroccan dirhams to send it. Some employers have been involved in managing and delivering this piece of mail. This is economy.
5.        In the 21st century a letter takes just a week to cover more than 1,000 km. This is technology (some people would say this is luck!).
6.        I draw myself the envelope. This is art (sort of!).
7.        We have been sending letters for a long time (past). You can see the current king of Morocco in the stamps (present). These are memories (future). This is and will be history.
8.        This letter made some people happy at least for a while: me, part of my family, maybe the post office works who daily deal with bills and boring envelopes. This is happiness.

Are you agree? Would we add more items to the list?

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