Tidal Cultures: An Introduction

by Owain Jones
The Tidal Cultures blog was started as part of a UK – Dutch research project conducted from 2012-2015. This was the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Humanities Research Networking and Exchange Scheme; “Between the Tides”:  Comparative arts and humanities approaches to living with(in) intertidal landscapes in UK & the Netherlands. Learning from those who live and work with complexity, change and fragility’: Dr Owain Jones; Countryside and Community Institute; and  Dr. Bettina van Hoven, Department of Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen.

severn bridge004v2

Severn Bridge, circa 1979 (c) Owain Jones.

The blog served initially to record the workshops of the project. But it soon grew to incorporate a wider set of content about ‘tidal cultures’. This term means aspects of human, and non-human life, that are shaped in some or other way by tidal processes. Tidal cultures, for obvious reasons, have both spatial and temporal distinctive characteristics, and vary markedly at local, regional, national and international scales.

Another key shaper of the blog, and the wider idea of Tidal Cultures, is  the fact that I grew up on a farm that adjoined the tidal spaces of the Severn Estuary, South West UK (see also Jones 2015). This estuary has the second highest tides in the world, and the spectacle of the tidal rise and fall, the changing vistas they create, were always of great fascination to me.
As well as the blog itself, which reports on various tidal culture events and outputs,  the site contains approximately 22 pages which include the following:

A (Poetic) Tidal Glossary
A Conversational Essay on Tides by Linda Cracknell and Owain Jones
About this Blog
Cardiff’s Rivers and Coastline (a lament)
Detailed Aims and Objectives (of funded project)
Links to Tidal Films and Websites
Low Tide Walks
Managing Tidal Change: Natasha Barker Reports
Non-Fiction Books on Tides
Owain Jones on Tides: Introduction
Papers, Talks and Other Output
Severn Estuary Art Atlas (SEAA) and Wadden Sea Art Atlas (WSAA)
Simon Read on Tides
Some Tidal Facts and Figures
Tide Related Art Works
Tides in Folklore and Literature
Tides in Poetry
Tides in Songs
Views of the Wadden Sea
Workshop 1. “Getting to know you…”
Workshop 2: “Emotional Geographies of the coast; island imaginings and mud walking!”
Workshop 3: “Deeper into the Severn landscape(s)”
Workshop 4: “Sense of Place, Terschelling”

Those in bold are the most developed and active pages. Some are standalone bits of writing such as the essay written with Linda Cracknell.

On average it currently gets approx. 700 views per month

Two comments left are
“an amazing blog, will take me ages to read it!”
“A wonderful compilation to celebrate our connections with the tide – thank you”

Professor Owain Jones, Environmental Humanities Research Centre, Bath Spa University, UK. 


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