Not Love, Not Passion: Interpretation as a job

There is a tradition within interpretation that identifies having ‘love’ [1] or ‘passion’ [2] for heritage and/or for people as a desirable, if not necessary quality in interpreters. This goes beyond just a lively, engaging delivery. It is to genuinely ‘love the thing you interpret’, as well as the people who visit it [3]. For … Continue reading Not Love, Not Passion: Interpretation as a job

Advertisement

Interpretation is Information

Professionally speaking, I, like many interpreters, was raised on Freeman Tilden’s second principle of interpretation. It reads: ‘Information, as such, is not Interpretation. Interpretation is revelation based upon information. But they are entirely different things. However, all interpretation includes information.’ [1] So when I started my field research, having conversations with visitors at sites in … Continue reading Interpretation is Information

From Snowden to Dogsbodies: How much ‘relate’ is needed to make good interpretation?

When I reviewed the visitor interviews I did last year for my PhD research, I was amazed at the wide associations visitors made.  They talk about Edward Snowden, the attack on Lee Rigby, the experience of getting chased by a local gamekeeper for collecting nuts in a wood just after the Second World War.  They … Continue reading From Snowden to Dogsbodies: How much ‘relate’ is needed to make good interpretation?

Closing the gap – A new initiative started at the Interpret Europe conference

I spent the start of this week in Pisa at the annual Interpret Europe Conference.  Possibly the greatest inspiration that I took from it was the forming of a group of like-minded professionals with an interest in ‘closing the gap’.  Talking to each other, we found that there is a discrepancy between how interpretation is … Continue reading Closing the gap – A new initiative started at the Interpret Europe conference

Do we interpret heritage because we’re disconnected from it?

During my readings I have come across this interesting quote by West and McKellar [1]: ‘By definition, interpretation as a heritage practice is a western discourse that has become necessary because official heritage has become disconnected from everyday understandings.’ It is a statement worth thinking about in greater depth.  Most interpreters would readily agree that … Continue reading Do we interpret heritage because we’re disconnected from it?

Give Mr Tilden a rest

The current issue of Legacy (National Association of Interpretation, USA) includes a commentary by Robinne Weiss that critiques the continued reference by modern interpreters to Freeman Tilden.  In his book 'Interpreting Our Heritage', first published in 1957 (!), Tilden established the well-known 'principles' of interpretation which often are shortened to the mantra 'relate-reveal-provoke'. Ms Weiss … Continue reading Give Mr Tilden a rest