I’ve just come off a Zoom event with @TechForGoodTV – always encouraging to hear about the ways in which tech can be used for good, the enthusiasm of people to want to change the world, despite (and especially because) the extra challenges presented by COVID-19 – when there is more need, and much less money being given to charities:

What was that about Keep Calm and Carry On?

At the start of the event we were thrown into breakout groups (well, it was the start for me, who’d come in late from my walk), and hearing that I’d done my PhD on wartime propaganda posters/written the original history of Keep Calm (before it was discovered), was asked if I’d come across the Allusionist podcast (interesting to hear who they asked on this topic):

Twenty years ago, a 1939 poster printed by the British government with the words ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ turned up in a second-hand bookshop in Northern England. And lo! A decor trend was born: teatowels, T-shirts, mugs, phone cases, condoms, and a zillion riffs on the phrase.

Bookshop owner Stuart Manley talks about unearthing the poster that spawned countless imitations; author Owen Hatherley explains why the poster was NOT, in fact, an exemplar of Blitz Spirit and British bulldog courage and whatnot; and psychologist and therapist Jane Gregory considers whether being told to keep calm can actually keep us calm.

So, will find time to listen to that podcast … and you all, of course, can read the book! They did pick up on the video the IWM produced around my book, which I missed doing as I was dealing with something cancer-related (what’s new) – though these days I could do it myself at home (and may do so) – as I have a light ring and a proper microphone too…

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