Thoughts Story

Thought of the week: Remember thee!

  As history repeats itself, Michelle Terry asks how did we get here? And most importantly, how can we learn in order to shape a better future for the next generation?

3 minute read

Text: Remember thee! Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat In this distracted globe. Remember thee!

Our beautifully distracted globe is in the most memorable of times, in which questions about who we are, and who we will become, have never felt more urgent or more vital.

But who we have been will also inform who we may be. Those who came before us leave their indelible footprint on the sands of time, and right now, looking back to where we have been makes for uncomfortable viewing.

As a statue of Edward Colston is removed in Bristol, as the devastatingly disproportionate number of people from black, asian and minority ethnic groups continue to die from Covid-19, as yet another light is shone on systemic injustice, racial intolerance, and institutional inequities, as history repeats itself once more, it’s hard not to ask: how did we get here?

It’s hard not to notice the exclamation mark in Hamlet’s words:

Remember thee!

Will this time pass and lessons go unlearned? Will this time pass and nothing change? Will we remember this moment with pride or regret?

In our ‘distracted globe’, will we remember this time at all?

What can we do now to make sure there is no question mark, no doubt that we will take this moment for what it is and we will all learn and we will all make change?

As we start to slowly stitch ourselves back together, what can we do to make sure we take the time to do the radical learning and creative thinking, to ask ourselves the difficult questions and stick around to hear the complicated answers.

What can we do?

As Terrence Floyd said during his prayer in Minneapolis at the site his brother’s murder took place: we must educate ourselves.

As we navigate our way through the uncharted waters of the world, and the profound provocation of this time, we must educate ourselves to ask the more potent, more imaginative, and more self-implicating questions about the nature, history and complexity of our time. We must educate ourselves If we are to truly make the world a safer, expansive, more equitable place to live for the next generation and the globe they deserve to inherit.

Last week, we shared some resources to encourage learning, discussion and change. Please find further reading below.

Books

  Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare edited by Hillary Eklund and Wendy Beth Hyman

Articles

  Moving the goalposts by David Gilborn, Nicola Rollock, Sean Demack and Paul Warmington

Resources

Resources for teaching Race and Identity in Tudor Stuart England from the TIDE project: Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England

PSwDB Macbeth 2020 icon hand

Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor Ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe: Remember thee!

— Hamlet

FINIS.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK 

Each week during the UK’s current Coronavirus crisis, our Artistic Director Michelle Terry shares her thought of the week.

Using Shakespeare’s language, Michelle reflects on the individual and universal meaning of the words. By giving personal and emotional insight, she uses the quote to relate to, and express, the mood of this uncertain time.

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