365 Places: Souvenirs, Travel and Memory

Day 26: Nostalgia is another country

Today, I had an interesting enquiry via my @bytetime account on Twitter. Someone asked me if they could quote my Masters of Arts (by Research) Thesis – Museum of the Personal: Souvenirs and Nostalgia from 2001. This request was quite a blast from the past, as my dissertation was completed 13 years ago and I had sort of forgotten about this work.

Suddenly I had a realisation – that my love of travel and journeying isn’t a recent phenonomen, it has been part of my identity since I was a small child. One of my earliest memories is of our road trip from Brisbane to Cairns where we saw many beautiful parts of the Great Barrier Reef along the way – I was six years old. I was fortunate in that my parents loved taking us on road trips and camping when we were young, embedding in me a love of travel and of nature.

My Masters thesis was the theoretical side of a project I had worked on through the mid to late 1990s – Big Banana Time Inc.  To summarise, BBT Inc, explored tourism and souvenirs in terms of consumption, the creation of personal identity, place and cultural identity. It was a playful project, where I experimented with digital photographic collage to create souvenir objects, video/projections and installation works.

Display from BBT Inc 1997

Display from BBT Inc 1997

One of the books I read during this time was titled The Past is a Foreign Country by David Lowenthal, which seems to be fitting when considering some aspects of 365 Places. It is also interesting to note that Lowethal will be releasing a revised edition of The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited in October 2014