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What was written on the tablecloths?

At Ideas Cafe events, we encourage those who attend to scribble down their thoughts and feelings on the table cloths as the talks are happening. Here's what was written during the Connecting Cultures event, unedited, as it appeared on the table cloths:

We are constantly translating within our own language and culture – the interlingual aspect is only one facet of this perhaps more fundamental process.

Mental health and culture: How cultures treat mental health issues. The relativity of mental health and mental illness is reflected in cultures.

Free speech
  • Ideologies of countries eg how history is taught eg Facism – After 1975 (Portugal) revolution attitude to Angola etc different.
  • Education
  • Politics of parents
  • Films and other arts eg painting/music
  • Lit eg Richard III
  • Monuments – changes
  • Symbol of flag – cultural changes
  • Fado – imp. In Protugal. Now abroad concept is clearer. Chracterisitics of people who live in place (sea). Moving to other countries cultures. – Palestinian woman link with Fado singer (Link with S. Pacific Islands)

Diagram from tablecloth 2

Selective memory
Memory erasal in Germany
Pressure of having a collective identity

Minorities in collective memory?
US identity

PECHA KUCHA! 20 slides x 20 seconds each.

Diagram from tablecloth 3

Silence vs amnesia
Forgetting as memory
Do we need to forget to remember?

Communication as an instrument of power

Diagram from tablecloth 5

Forgetting as part of remembering

If cultural stories are not passed down to younger generation – is this silence or amnesia? “Forgetting as part of remembering”

Tatoos are a way of remembering for working class cultures who cannot express their emotions in words.

Effects a cultural identity of your country’s boundaries and name being changed.

“Bronze soldier” in Talin Estonia


Death / sleep

Hesiod, Theogony (c.800 BC)
Lack of sleep - ill health

One period 8 hour
Napping culture

Social memory
“Each society interpreting its own past”

How does what a society remembers depend on what it forgets?

“More people speak more than one language than only one.”

Destruction of memory

Inferring collective memory from individual

Archaeologist issue

Destruction of memories

Inferring collective memory with the individual

Where is the border between reserving memories and Nazism

Erasing memory and inscribing

‘Created’ memories

Biological / genetic memory

Landscape and memory

Craft and culture

Collective memory
Pop history
Part of memory

Changing notions of beauty

Web & memory

Tourism +
+ leaving pictures/text

Generational interpretation of historical events in living memory

Interpretation of one’s own cultural history preserving own identity when actually influenced even introduced from outside

A 1.3m2 ink picture based on the form of the Muppa Mundi – oldest medieval map of the world – telling a story of the riddle of energy (individual and the planet). This connects many cultures:- medical, physiological, literary, physics, history, natural history, philosophy, film studies and the “lay perspective” of health and disease – as the spar was/ ill health – trying to make sense of a low energy medical condition, which is not amenable to medical intervention and has dragged on for years. So…. Connecting cultures – healthcare and art – can have a positive outcome (it has for me in the sense of well-being of the spirit – positive outlook). Contact me if you would like to see this as part of the Connecting Cultures project.

Diagram from tablecloth 2

Needs to simplify a little bit

    The relation between body size of wealth
    • how can we research it?
    • relation between food & body size & health

    What dictates what level of health is acceptable.

    Issues with regarding decisions of health & women not able to make decisions without – men –

    • India – infectious disease
    • Healthy - & chronic disease

      ? Effect of Religion ?

      China – social gradient key story

      Affluent in China – Chronic disease
      Better food


      West phase - Cutting down rich food
      - Education

      Social gradient opposition
      India, China and West
      Growing fast

      Body shape
      Cultural difference in acceptance

      Wealth distribution = Health
      Social inequalities – discontent

      Some societies – accepted
      Other societies not accepted – unstable culture

      Whats acceptable regards health in a culture for women – (PMS)

      Cultural difference in diet acceptance
      Partaking in festivals v health requirement

      Healthcare delivery at point of need = NHS
      - Not what you can pay for –

      Religious reasons for rejecting health – may have severe consequence

      ? all cultures value health or major religious belief more competent

        Extreme health decision
        • Euthanasia
        • Heart transplant may be culturally different
        • West – take health options available

        Inequality of health in other cultures as can not afford to give health to all no NHS

        India – obesity – fast transition

        ?Mechanisms –

          S Africa
          • Stone –
          • Symptoms – medically
          • Punishment – Ed – belief

          Dominance of a language

          Politics of language

          Translation enriches the reading culture

          Multilingual – flexible minds

          Provision of national services such as NHS – how much requirement for users to speak English? How much provision for interpretation?

          Language as a tool for building the national identity.

          When your country choose a language, it also choose the political ecnom., social directions (orientation).


          My personal life:
          Enjoy books, opera in source language
          Get to know locals and get under the skin of a nation
          Pick up sensitivity/emotive responses
          Street journalism

          My prof life
          Enjoy teaching/exploring literature
          Learning new languages
          Got a better job
          Opened up contacts with peers

          National identity – essential link to language
          Language as a weapon. E.g. Sri Lanka Tamil/Sinhala both official

          e.g. S. Tyrol = Italian owned + supressed German majority

          CH: French / German / Italian / Romansh
          Nationality? Swiss or Valaisan, E. Swiss, Ticino?


            Selective memory
            • Editing
            • Censorship
            Sometimes people remember what they want to – “forgetting” can be deliberate
            False memories ≠ false cultures
            False connections
            Internet “open access” – self translated / mistranslation perhaps
            Complexity of the original may cause problems in translation

            Visual less prone to change than textual?
            Colour Symbolism
            Visual clues

            Authority – authorised versions official versions

            Schlink The Reader Varleser

            Fluidity of e.g. borders shifting borders e.g. German history? In 19th and 20th century

            Past v present

            Is there such a thing as a national culture in a 21st century global world?

            Where does the wwweb fit in this debate?

            What defines a good translator?

            The challenge of mediating another culture – the target language – making compromises.

            All comments here are the work and opinion of the Ideas Café audience and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Warwick.