Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an event through the History Council of Victoria with a discussion panel about history as nourishment, consolation and guidance during the pandemic. It got me thinking about the way in which history has been all of these to me this year. Overwhelmingly, history has provided me with a very welcome and much needed sense of perspective. There was a feeling, very early on this year, that we were living through something big. In my lifetime, probably only the fall of the Iron Curtain and the September 11 terrorist attacks could compare…

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

There’s no doubt that tourism has been one of, if not the, hardest hit industry by the COVID-19 pandemic. And with the industry on pause, and many of its impacted employees having time on their hands, it is no surprise that there has been a plethora of articles describing the different ways in which tourism might be able to #buildbackbetter. You might therefore ask if we need another one? Well, maybe. Two of the most frequently discussed problems with tourism have been its intensive carbon footprint, and overtourism. Having worked in international tourism for the past twelve years, I have…

Monument to Captain Cook in Melbourne park sprayed with graffiti
Graffiti-sprayed Captain Cook monument in Melbourne’s Edinburgh Gardens. Image courtesy Pat Mitchell on Twitter @patty_mitchell

Recent weeks have seen statues again become a flashpoint for protest and debate. Statues of slave-trader Edward Colston in Bristol and Belgian king Leopold II in Antwerp have been torn down. Statues of Winston Churchill in London, Captain James Cook in Melbourne and Sydney, Robert E. Lee in Virginia, and many others across the world, have been vandalised. After writing a master’s thesis about the removal of statues last year and watching the current debate being played out, it has become clear to me that many people are misunderstanding the meaning of public monuments. For example, ‘tearing them down would…

Claire Baxter

Master’s in Conflict Archaeology & Heritage and currently working in international tourism. @clarenceb30

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