Future Pasts? Sustainabilities in West Namibia

Professor Sian Sullivan, Bath Spa UniversitySian Sullivan
PI of Future Pasts
With Mike Hannis (BSU), Angela Impey (SOAS), Chris Low (BSU) and Rick Rohde (Edinburgh)

Perhaps inappropriately for a blog on ‘Debating Time’, I am late in submitting a post to introduce Future Pasts. My excuse is that the invitation to contribute a post was sent when I was living in west Namibia, some distance from internet access – at the settlement in this photo.

Sullivan 1

Please click on photos to enlarge

This is a place called !Nao-dais in Damara/≠Nū Khoen gowab (language), and Otjerate in oshiHerero. The family of Suro, the Damara woman with whom I have worked on and off for twenty years, have herded livestock at !Nao-dais for decades. Currently they are joined by a Himba pastoralist family from Kaokoveld to the north of this area, who inhabit the cluster of huts to the left of this image. Continue reading

Delving back into the past to look into the present and future

by Dr Lucy Veale, University of Nottingham, cross-posted from the Weather Extremes project blog lucyveale

AHRC and LABEX – a new partnershipRoyaumont-1-420x210

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to represent the Weather Extremes team at a Franco-British Research Workshop organised by our funders AHRC, and LABEX (Laboratory of Excellence), a similar funder in France. The title of the workshop was ‘Delving back into the past to look into the present and future’ and the main aim was to explore connections between research funded under the AHRC’s Care for the Future theme and LABEX’s ‘Les passes dans le present: histoire, patrimoine, memoire.’ Both initiatives seek to explore representations of the past from multiple perspectives and disciplines, and have shared priorities and commitments. Continue reading

History in the making

The article below was written by Malcolm Lucard and is cross-posted from the Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine. It includes material from an interview with Prof Andrew Thompson, Leadership Fellow of Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past.

History in the making

Photo from https://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/icrc-archives/

Malcolm Lucard

Internal records from the ICRC’s archives concerning the conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s shed light on a decisive era for humanitarian action.

In a small room in the basement of ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, historian Andrew Thompson methodically pores through folders full of documents — typewritten mission reports, confidential telegrams and hand-written letters — never before seen by people outside the ICRC.

“It is a process of discovery,” says Thompson, a professor of history at Exeter University in the United Kingdom. “There is a sense of expectation and anticipation not knowing what is going to be there. For a historian, it’s a bit like opening a birthday present, or like going into a candy shop.”

The ‘candy shop’ in this case is the ICRC archives, where Thompson is exploring 40- to 50-year-old records to be released to the public in January 2015 under the ICRC’s policy of making internal documents public in blocks of ten years once 40 years have passed since the events they describe.

Continue reading

Making History Work


Making History Work –  Seminar series with AHRC Translating Cultures and Institute for Government

Between March – July 2014 the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Care for the Future and Translating Cultures research themes and the Institute for Government held 4 joint seminars on ‘Making History Work’ – bringing together academics, senior policy officials and practitioners to consider how history and intercultural learning are used in practice by policy makers and how academia and public policy can better engage each other. Continue reading

Call for Papers– Symposium on Utopias, Futures & Social change

Call for Papers– Symposium on Utopias, Futures & Social change

The Care for the Future and Connected Communities themes are co-hosting a symposium in May on ‘Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: critical considerations for social change’. Deadline for proposals is 14th February 2015 to K.Dunleavy@bristol.ac.uk.

Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: Critical considerations for social change
An Interdisciplinary Symposium 19 & 20 May, 2015, Bristol Zoo, Bristol Continue reading

First World War commemorative plaque unveiled in Islamabad

WWI Commemoration Ceremony

Photo from Flickr. Click photo to see more from the British High Commission Islamabad (all rights reserved).


Dr Irfan Malik recently shared this WWI commemoration story with us, highlighting 460 British Indian WW1 soldiers from a small village called Dulmial. It was a record contribution for South Asia and on 10 November the British High Commission, Islamabad Pakistan honoured the village and unveiled a plaque in honour of three soldiers from modern day Pakistan who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

The ceremony formed part of the UK Government’s programme of events to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War, during which 175 men from 11 countries were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Dulmial cannon hd

1816 Carron Ironworks cannon, presented to Dulmial Village in 1925 by the British Army

For more information please see the press release and Flickr photos: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-world-war-commemorative-plaque-unveiled-in-Islamabad

Earth in Vision

 Joe Smith (PI), Kim Hammond, and George Revill, The Open University

from left to right: Zdenek Zdrahal (Knowledge Media Institute), Kim Hammond, Joe Smith and George Revill (Geography Department), all at The Open University, Milton Keynes

from left to right: Zdenek Zdrahal (Knowledge Media Institute), Kim Hammond, Joe Smith and George Revill (Geography Department), all at The Open University, Milton Keynes

If you can tell a good story you can change the world. That thought has motivated programme makers concerned with environment and conservation issues for decades. The Earth in Vision  project aims to tell the story of the role of broadcasting, specifically of the BBC, in the emergence of a global environmental imagination. A second aim is to explore the potential for, and implications of, large scale release of digital broadcast archives. Continue reading