The German North Sea Coast is often overlooked by international tourists, in fact, you will struggle to find anyone not speaking German on holiday here. When I was a child, slowly hitting puberty, the area started to seem somewhat backwards, stuck in time, just because of that. The same people every year, the same style of houses everywhere, the same things to do every time, never changing.
Yes, the area around Schillig, Wangerland in Lower Saxony, offers all that but there’s so much more. Farms and fields as far as the eye can see or until it reaches the embankment that stops the raging sea from swallowing the lands during winter storms. Here I was, convinced I had outgrown the family holidays of doing nothing but walking along the extensive beaches and nature reserves, that I had had enough of all the seafood, even of the constant smell of the sea and all it brought with it. Today I can see that I just wasn’t ready to appreciate the relaxation simply being in the moment brings – in fact I was still convinced I’d never go back until I reached the end of my postgrad life. But tackling stress can make you appreciate the small things, and all of a sudden, the sea air, the ever stronger growing winds, the sight of a lighthouse far away at sea let your worries slowly fade away. View Post
Well, better late than never, I’d say. Back in 2015 (which feels so long ago now), I attended my first Electric Gardens in Glasgow. The year’s title was Lux Botanicum, promising a mix of colourful light installations, fire shows and activities for the whole family. As someone who loves the Glasgow Botanics in any weather, this was a great chance to see them all lit up by night.
A friend of mine was just as excited and we took off to spend our evening at the other end of town – from our point of view at least. I had decided to take my tripod and give night photography a shot for the first time. Needless to say, the visit involved a lot of ‘Wait for me, I need to pack up my stuff’ and ‘Oh my, I’m so sorry for hitting you with that thing AGAIN!’. Good thing she was a good sport about. Being an enthusiastic photographer herself, Alex took the bruises I caused with a smile.
If you’ve had a look around my blog, you will have noticed how much I enjoy spending time at the museum. A quiet place to submerge yourself in your thoughts and a variety of stories told through all sorts of artifacts.
Good for me that Glasgow has so many museums and exhibitions on offer and when Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery announced their new exhibition, ‘A Century of Style’, I knew I had to see it. With no long term displays of any costume collection in the museums around the city and no dedicated exhibition for fashion to my knowledge in the central belt, this was a fantastic opportunity to dive into the city’s history in dressmaking and see some outstanding and – unfortunately – rarely shown gowns.
With Christmas coming up and all the markets replacing festivals for a while, it seemed like a good time to take a look back at Glasgow’s festivals this year.
Events mean a lot to me, they have been part of my studies, I have worked in the industry in a variety of ways, been on the inside and watched from the outside. This year’s festivals have been especially important, as they were a big part for developing my photos but also using them as a means for analysis.
Say what? Well, the city’s festivals have played an incredible part in my research at university, both for my undergrad and my postgrad. Last year in summer, I documented large parts of the Commonwealth Games and every programme aspect that came with it, and this year I concentrated on the Merchant City Festival. Over time, my focus has shifted from how we can create event structures that are respectful towards tourism stakeholder needs towards how we can integrate local community needs, instead of putting profits first.
Enough of my research now, moving towards the end of the year, let’s take another look at the festivals I have managed to attend and my takeaways from them. Let’s get started, shall we?
Art has always been a big part of my life. In Kindergarten my people would exclaim every day ‘For you it’s “a picture a day keeps the doctor away”, isn’t it?’ It was indeed: I wasn’t good at talking to people, very shy for my age, so drawing was a great outlet. Going to museums to see the paintings there was just the next step. I very much believe that art can help us get through life – in fact a recent study proved that appreciating works of art supports our health. Also let’s be honest, could you imagine a life without books, films, theatre, visual art or any other expression of creativity? Being creative can change people and it has certainly changed me over the years, towards becoming a more flexible and outgoing person. Creativity covers all aspects of life and I feel that it can’t be separated from a sense of curiosity about the world. Creativity and objects created through it stand for larger social narratives and developments – just as tourism is a narrative that spans our daily lives – so it makes sense for me to love both.