Distrophy in the Dynasty

In: English and Literature

Submitted By saiboratlesh
Words 4632
Pages 19
Losing Your Place

Sue Clifford and Angela King

The main players fall silent, the filming is over, the recording is finished, but the sound technician has hushed everyone to get some 'atmos'. Coughs, car noise echoing off the warehouses, birdsong, boards creaking, trees breathing in the wind, these are the sounds of the everyday, so particular to this place, that to cut the film and add studio voiceovers needs an underlay of this local atmosphere in order to ensure continuity and authenticity.

That elusive particularity, so often undervalued as 'background noise', is as important as the stars. It is the richness we take for granted.

How do we know where we are in time and space? How do we understand ourselves in the world?

Common Ground has been exploring and developing a new concept, that of local distinctiveness. It is characterised by elusiveness, it is instantly recognizable yet difficult to describe; It is simple yet may have profound meaning to us. It demands a poetic quest and points up the shortcomings in all those attempts to understand the things around us by compartmentalising them, fragmenting, quantifying, reducing.

Local distinctiveness is essentially about places and our relationship with them. It is as much about the commonplace as about the rare, about the everyday as much as the endangered, and about the ordinary as much as the spectacular. In other cultures it might be about people's deep relationship with the land. Here discontinuities have left us with vestiges of appreciation but few ways of expressing the power which places can have over us. But many of us have strong allegiances to places, complex and compound appreciation of them, and we recognize that nature, identity and place have strong bonds.

We sometimes forget that ours is a cultural landscape. It is our great creation: underpinned by nature, it is a physical…...

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