Tuesday, 20 September 2005

Why blog?

Just before I left Brighton, I told my friends that, if they so chose, they could see photos from my travels by visiting the blog I'd set up. When I did, one asked me, "Why blog?" I explained that writing helped me to organise and map my thinking and that the blog allowed I and others to access my work on human rights archaeology and its photoblogs easily; I also admitted that, yes, I hoped that people might read what was written and think about what I'd said - maybe even change their minds about something I'd discussed (I know, I am hopelessly naive).

I hadn't had a chance to extend my reasoning before, but I was prompted to make the time after I read Private Eye 1141 (16th-29th September 2005), in which one of the articles that exposed some of those who were partly responsible for the shameful reaction to Hurricane Katrina used data provided in the leninology blog to make their case. They further publicised the fact that Innovative Emergency Management, the consortium whom the Federal Emergency Management Agency entrusted hurricane preparation to, deleted references to their work in New Orleans from their website.

What I want to do, in whatever way and to whatever extent I can, is to present as-yet-unreported information and to re-present existing information, approaching it from novel perspectives and generating new insights. This is what I hope I have done with the case of the Polish coal thieves (below) and will do with the case of the New Orleans flood foragers, pushing my agenda that subsistence looting - non-violently taking what water, food, medicine, clothing and other goods are needed, but not otherwise available - is morally justifiable.

It is what I hope to do with the experiences I have had in Kosovo and will have in southern and northern Cyprus and in south-eastern Turkey, where I'll be working over the next three years. Next I will discuss why I am or will be writing an archaeoblog; then, I'll explore some of the ethical dilemmas that inspired my project and introducing it in itself.


  1. Yeah, yeah! Keep blogging coz many people like to read, like me. In fact I find blogging therapeutic for both the readers and the writers. Enjoy writing and expressing your views.

  2. I do enjoy it, yes; if nothing else, it's vaguely productive work and offers up the possibility of free-flowing discussions about my work with its participant communities.