Dr Nick Owen MBE PLUS

Working in and on the Business of Cultural Education

Day 32 of the 26 Day Big Shut Up: the silences of imagined conversations.

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The imagined conversations between Joe Orton and Richard Rawlins accompanies us as we continue our journey of discovery into central Leicester and the site of our next Globe Sculpture by Zita Holbourne (theme: Still We Strive).

“The quintessential English cup of tea and its insidious intertwining with sugar are the cornerstone of the economic construction of Britain” Richard starts.

“Until I was fifteen, I was more familiar with Africa than my own body.” Joe retorts.

“I am an invisible man; I am a man of substance flesh and bone fibre and liquids and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible simply because you to refuse to see me,” quotes Richard from Ralph Ellison.

“I needed the invisible butler in What the Butler Saw as a symbol for the complacency of upper-middle-class lives,” Joe reminisces.

We have to leave them struggling out some meaning of their imaginary collision as we process into the city centre.  It’s a very different experience from walking up New Walk or through Highfields.  Here, we could be tourists, we could be locals, no-one knows as we’re subsumed into the anonymous flow of humanity which is experienced in perhaps all city centres.  

There are a few landmarks which indicate that we’re specifically in Leicester but the main view is of corporate retail opportunities which could be anywhere in the western world.  The landmarks and sounds which mark out this place as specifically Leicester are valuable reminders of where we are and why we are there.

Somewhat incongruously, the globe sculpture is parked right next to a takeaway food stand.  Imagining a conversation between these two objects becomes a step too far for this afternoon: despite being reminded that “our lives begin to end the day we are silent about all of the things that matter.”

The busy city centre flow picks us up and we head through the Highcross monolith to the next globe sculpture which we have a particular interest in visiting.

The Mighty Creatives staff team took part in the Mighty (UN)Mute, a day-long vow of silence, on 5th October 2022. You can check out the campaign here or donate your support to it here.

Or if neither of these is possible (and heaven knows we’re all in tough financial times right now), then anything you can do to share and shout about the campaign would be equally welcomed and appreciated.

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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