Welcome To Pleasant Land
The first year of Pleasant Land is now over, although the site will remain online – please feel free to explore.
Between April 2003 and March 2004 we travelled around England, meeting people, asking them about their own Englands and asking what Englishness is these days. Every month we sent digital postcards to people who had filled in the Questionaire. As our travels have finished for now, we are no longer sending out postcards, but you can look at the Postcards by clicking on the thumbnails opposite. We are not collating responses to the Questionnaire any more, but if you’d like you can still fill it in for fun.
If you would like to find out more about the results of our research and the Pleasant Land project as a whole, you can read more about it on the Vivarium website, click on resources. To find out more about Third Angel, or join our mailing list, please visit us here:www.thirdangel.co.uk
Thank you for visiting, Third Angel
Pleasant Land – Some Background
It began with the Census. There wasn’t a ‘Scottish’, ‘Welsh’ or ‘English’ box to tick. Only ‘British’ or ‘Irish’. People in and from Scotland and Wales wanted their own boxes. We noticed that Scottish and Welsh friends referred to themselves as, surprise, Scottish and Welsh.
We realised that when we were abroad, we would say we were from England, as if to locate ourselves more precisely. But when asked our Nationality at home, in Britain, we always said British, as if we thought this more inclusive. We began to wonder why.
We asked ourselves if we were ashamed of being English? We asked ourselves what ‘English’ meant, and what ‘Englishness’ was, anyway?
Someone said something about England having an identity that was a reaction to Not English – meaning, we think, that over the last century (or longer?) the Colonies, and now Wales and Scotland, have been breaking away from England, wanting independence. Not wanting to be English.
We asked people if they knew the difference between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Often, they didn’t. We asked ourselves what our England was, what we liked about our country, what we didn’t? We wondered if other people would recognise Our England, or we, theirs.
Someone said something about national identity causing wars. Someone said something about long baths and not touching one another.
We wondered if we could see England from another point of view. We wondered what England means to you. We wondered if we could have our minds changed.