A Common Foe – An exhibition at the Hull Maritime Museum

The social event for September saw a good-sized group meet up in Hull to visit an exhibition at the Hull Maritime Museum charting the city’s fishing heritage through a combination of text, photography and film.

A Common Foe focused on the relationship between the fishermen of Hull and the people of Iceland. I was surprised to learn that as far back as the fifteenth century, citizens of Hull had traded goods for fish, with many Icelandic people returning to Hull along with the fishermen, seeking a new life in Britain.

The photography on display by Simon Sharp covered the lives of Hull’s fishermen and women both at sea and at home.  It also tackled some of the more unfortunate events over the years including the Cod Wars and the Triple Trawler Tragedy in the late 1960s.  A video of the brother of one of the men lost in the Triple Trawler Tragedy searching for and laying a wreath at the sight of the wreck of his brother’s boat was especially poignant.

Although A Common Foe has now finished, the rest of the Maritime Museum is well worth a visit with plenty to interest visitors both young and old.

Having spent time inside the museum it was pleasant to step out into the sunshine and wander round the rejuvenated fruit market and old town areas before finding a brand new bar with an amazing array of spirits and nibbles to finish off the afternoon.

Ilkley Literature Festival – Borders, Boundaries and Partition. Francesca Gatenby writes:

The ‘Borders, Boundaries and Partition’ event proved to be a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion of the ephemeral or concrete nature of different types of borders and boundaries. We were transported from the affluent environs of moor-shadowed Ilkley to the tension-ridden streets of Northern Ireland in the midst of the Troubles; then to 1980s London, permeated by prejudice, where Abdulrazak Gurnah told us how he was rejected for a job “a corpse could have done” the minute he gave his name; and then forward in time again to 21st century London and a new sense of post-Brexit cultural malaise.

The three panelists drew on their personal experiences of cultural otherness to offer a witty, frank and engaging discussion that ranged from Brexit, Trump and the attitude of the European political elite towards Hungary’s physical walls, built to repudiate refugees, through to more philosophical concepts of borders, their degree of usefulness and future relevance. Sadly, the discussion itself was subject to temporal borders – so there was not enough time to talk about Partition as well on this occasion.

The hour-long event was over in the blink of an eye and we all felt that we had barely dipped our collective toes in the water of this thought-provoking topic. I for one really enjoyed it and I shall be looking to attend further ILF events in future.