5th May
I have been following the blog to get a feel for what you are doing and seeing there and have been trying to figure out what could be worth adding from a sedentary london position - partly I find it difficult because the internet diary format isnt something i feel very familiar with if even slightly wary of and partly because 'experience from a distance' doesn't even come close and feels too abstract, also Im sure you are discussing everything within the group over and over and there must be a point where you just want to get on with it - having said that I have been enjoying reading everybody's voices coming together and forming, slowly but surely something of a picture. it sounds like there is a new wave of optimism in this second lot of posts too, which is encouraging.

I agree, to install a 'model provincial museum' would be pointless - i think (whatever it will be) will have to be an open structure, maybe more something like a lab or workshop with different outcomes, which at a later stage can maybe develop an idea of archive that can link back to lawson park and/or london, not something that is inserted there?
any project I would think will have to start from a common denominator as a starting point hopefully with the result of something unknown to all 'positions'. i think all these ideas about being useful to something or someone have to start with your own curiosity, enthusiasm or interest (which normally brings with it the benefit of a certain 'expertise' anyway) not through a moral imperative of figuring out what is good for someone, which easily traps one in a missionary role and perpetuates a certain binary structure and pidgeon-holing on both sides or conformity of ideas - i think this is true for anywhere or any situation that involves communities that you enter as an outsider. partly, i think it is important to recognize difference with the aim of understanding it and not feed the myth of a globalized cohesive understanding which is often one-way anyway in terms of who is being interpreted.
cooking and food seems to be one such possible starting point from what you are saying market stalls and farming in relation to lawson park - on one level, certainly at this stage about enjoying the place and people and what and how they do things, where we can see parallels, what fascinates us and find out more about it, in what way a different structure or understanding of community is reflected in the everyday that can inspire us. part of this I guess is also to be honest about our own motives and why we were interested in taking part in the project - in some ways quite similar to working at/with lawson park/grizedale despite the obvious geo-political differences.

I would love to see more images and documents of Nanling, some non-verbal communication and mapping that I can respond to from this context. that would make it easier from me to get involved other than just bla-ing on abstractly from distance, which I suspect is completely irrelevant anyway and is doing my head in a little. (maybe we have to do the 'kingdom-thing' as in reporting from different places, but with real places to start establish some connections between ourselves and in line with how we normally approach things - maybe you shouldn't worry about a museum just yet - how and where would this be built anyway, and maybe a judgement on usefulness comes at a much later stage). one interesting thing to think about maybe - how do we go about thinking of archives/library/museums etc without relying on language, the local of which we don't speak.

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